Etihad Airways and Alitalia have agreed the terms of a deal that will see the Gulf carrier invest in the struggling Italian airline.

Etihad last night announced it has finalised its requirements but did not provide any further details.

It is thought its stake in Alitalia will be as much as 49 per cent, while Italy’s transport minister today said Etihad is preparing to invest around 600 million euros.

Etihad said in a statement that it “will forward a letter detailing the conditions precedent and the criteria for a proposed equity investment by Etihad Airways that have been negotiated with Alitalia and its stakeholders over the past months”.

The Gulf airline has already taken a share of Air Berlin, Aer Lingus and Virgin Australia.,

Graham Smith