Alitalia launches auction for its loyalty programme

MILAN (Reuters) – Alitalia on Wednesday launched the sale of its Millemiglia loyalty programme, in another step to dispose its assets before being wound down.

The troubled Italian carrier, which last month was replaced by state-owned ITA Airways, said groups interested in entering the data room for the auction needed to express interest by Dec. 10.

Binding bids for the Millemiglia programme, which has a base price of 50.6 million euros ($57.22 million), are due by Dec. 13, Alitalia said.

Under the deal with the EU Commission over the creation of a new carrier, ITA Airways is not allowed to take part in the auction, but can clinch a partnership with the buyer of Millemiglia in a second phase.

The programme has 6.2 million members and survived the end of Alitalia’s operations last month as customers can continue to earn miles by using the services of Alitalia’s commercial partners or by travelling with Air France, KLM and Middle East Airlines. They can spend points through the lastminute.com portal.

Millemiglia has been managed since 2013 by a separate company called Alitalia Loyalty.

($1 = 0.8843 euros)

(Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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