EasyJet drops out of Alitalia consortium talks

Low-cost carrier EasyJet says it will not participate in a consortium to relaunch struggling airline Alitalia

MILAN -- Low-cost carrier EasyJet says it is pulling out of talks to form a consortium that aimed to take over struggling Alitalia.

EasyJet said in a statement Monday that it was withdrawing from the process, which envisioned a deal with Delta Air Lines and the Italian State Railway to relaunch Alitalia.

EasyJet said that it "remains committed to Italy, as a key market for the company, where it currently carries 18.5 million passengers every year and employs 1,400 pilots and crew, all on local contracts."

The Italian government has been looking to find a buyer for Alitalia since it declared bankruptcy two years ago.

Alitalia has struggled amid competition from low-cost carriers and has failed to come up with a sustainable plan to establish Italy's flagship airline as a long-haul player.