Wizz Air (W6, Budapest) is interested in acquiring the short- and medium-haul business of Alitalia (AZ, Rome Fiumicino), the Hungarian LCC's CEO József Váradi has said.

"As far as Alitalia is concerned, we are only looking at the parts that are of interest to us, the short and medium haul; certainly not for the intercontinental flights," he told La Repubblica newspaper in an interview last week.

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, Alitalia currently operates a total of seventy-two Airbus A320 Family aircraft including twenty-two A319-100s, thirty-eight A320-200s, and twelve A321-100s while for its part, Wizz Air employs a total of eighty-eight including sixty-four A320-200s and twenty-four A321-200s.

The Italian carrier entered into bankruptcy in May last year after staff rejected a proposed turnaround plan. Etihad Airways, which holds a 49% stake, refused to continue financing the loss-making carrier forcing it into special administration. Since then, the triumvirate of administrators have been scouting out potential buyers for Alitalia flight operations and groundhandling assets.

While Lufthansa Group has been the favourite to acquire Alitalia for a long time, the Italian government is reluctant to agree to its demands for severe staff and cost cuts. Other bidders include easyJet and an American private equity fund Cerberus. Air France-KLM reportedly held early talks with the Italians in Paris last week following which their staff were granted access to Alitalia's data room.

Italy's centre-left government is looking to complete Alitalia's sale before national parliamentary elections scheduled for March 4, 2018.