April 27, 2017 / 9:09 AM / 4 months ago

Intesa Sanpaolo CEO says bank has no plan B for Alitalia

TURIN, Italy, April 27 (Reuters) - Intesa Sanpaolo does not have a plan B for loss-making Italian carrier Alitalia and it is not the lender's business to manage airlines, its chief executive Carlo Messina said.

Alitalia is preparing for special administration proceedings after workers rejected its latest rescue plan, making it impossible for the loss-making airline to secure funds to keep its aircraft flying.

Messina's comments came after a newspaper report said Intesa Sanpaolo, one of Italy's top two banks and both an Alitalia creditor and shareholder, was working on an alternative rescue plan that could be a prelude to an alliance with rival airlines including Lufthansa .

"We are first of all a bank, a company that manages credit and not aircraft," Messina told journalists on the sidelines of the bank's shareholder meeting. "There is no plan B being prepared by Intesa Sanpaolo."

Answering a question about a possible involvement of Lufthansa, the executive said any solution that could preserve jobs would be welcome. He also said that using state-owned Italian railways group Ferrovie dello Stato to help Alitalia could be a new way to integrate the air and ground transport businesses. (Reporting by Gianni Montani; writing by Agnieszka Flak)

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