Italian airline Alitalia is denying reports that it has dropped the Israel Aviation Industry's Bedek aviation as a maintenance provider.
This past summer, the failing airline was rescued by United Arab Emirates national airline Etihad, which gained a 49 percent stake in the Italian flight provider.According to Reuters, Alitalia and Etihad Airways are expected to seek approval for their deal from the European Union antitrust approval this month, in hopes of finalizing it by the end of the year.
Bedek had been the exclusive maintenance provider for Alitalia's JT8D-217 engines since 2007. The airline is reportedly turning to Italian Atitech instead, according to a report in the French trade press.
The Italian press report said that the decision was based on wanting to have closer supervision of the work.
The original report appeared on French website Crash-Aerien.aero.
“Alitalia has strongly denied reports that it has severed its relationship with BEDEK Aviation, as a maintenance provider," the company said in a statement. "Alitalia has contracted maintenance to BEDEK Aviation for a number of years and is very comfortable with the quality of its work. Alitalia is currently conducting a review of the business, including its maintenance contracts. Any changes to its maintenance contracts, or indeed to any other part of its business, will be made in the best interests of Alitalia.”