Italy's Council of Ministers has approved an emergency decree guaranteeing Alitalia (AZ, Rome Fiumicino) EUR400 million euro (USD443 million) to keep it afloat for another six months, local media reported.

The ruling coalition of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and centre-left Democratic Party approved the decree on December 2, unlocking the already-planned funds, which had previously been linked to a rescue plan that was under negotiation for 13 months but which stalled in November.

The government also pledged to launch a new process for the sale of the troubled flag carrier, to be completed by the end of May 2020.

Bankrupt Alitalia has already received EUR900 million (USD997 million) from the government since it was placed under the control of three state-appointed administrators in May 2017. It has not repaid this loan or the EUR150 million (USD166 million) interest on it, according to the Reuters news agency.

The carrier has already used up around EUR9 billion (USD9.97 billion) in taxpayers’ money. Italy's ANSA news agency reported that power will now be given to the administrators to reduce its workforce and fleet, a key condition investors such as Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) have set for their prospective participation in an equity sale.