Easyjet has confirmed it is no longer exploring the possibility of a joint takeover of troubled state owned airline Alitalia.

The low-cost carrier had been in discussions with Delta and Italian rail company Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane regarding a potential takeover bid, but in a statement Easyjet said:

“Following discussions with Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane and Delta Air Lines about forming a consortium to explore options for the future operations of Alitalia, Easyjet has taken the decision to withdraw from the process.

“Easyjet remains committed to Italy, as a key market for the company, where it currently carries 18.5 million passengers every year and employs 1400 pilots and crew, all on local contracts.

“We continue to invest in the three bases in Milan, Naples, Venice, as we have done by basing additional aircraft in Venice and Naples last summer.”

Alitalia went into administration in 2017, following an employee vote against plans to cut jobs and salaries, which would have led to the unlocking of funds.

Since then the carrier has continued operations, backed by the Italian government while it attempts to find a buyer.

Delta remains in talks with Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, with the Italian government having set a deadline of the end of March for a rescue plans to be submitted.

easyjet.com, delta.com, alitalia.com