Alitalia and banks strike deal to keep airline running - sources

An Alitalia airplane takes off at the Fiumicino International airport in Rome, Italy, February 12, 2016. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Alitalia and creditor banks have struck a deal on the financial resources required to keep the Italian airline afloat, sources close to the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

Controlling investor Etihad Airways, which holds a 49 percent stake, is struggling to relaunch the loss-making carrier since investing 560 million euros ($585 million) as part of a wider 1.8 billion euro rescue deal in 2014.

Alitalia is losing half a million euros a day and is far from returning to profitability by next year, as pledged by Etihad two years ago.

Italian shareholders, including Italy's two biggest banks UniCredit (CRDI.MI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI), hold a combined 51 percent share.

(Reporting by Alberto Sisto, writing by Giulia Segreti, editing by Steve Scherer)

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