EU okays ITA, orders Alitalia to repay 900 million euros illegal state aid

FILE PHOTO: Alitalia planes are seen on the tarmac at Fiumicino International Airport in Rome

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU competition regulators on Friday gave the green light to Alitalia’s successor Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA) and also ordered the Italian flag carrier to repay 900 million euros ($1.1 billion) in illegal state aid.

The European Commission said a 1.35 billion euro capital injection by Italy into ITA over the next three years is in line with EU state aid rules as it will be done according to market conditions.

ITA will operate with less than half of Alitalia’s fleet of aircraft and will only be allow to take over limited parts of its predecessor’s handling and maintenance businesses. Alitalia’s brand will be sold in an open tender.

($1 = 0.8443 euros)

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee)