The majority shareholder of Italian airline Meridiana, the Aga Khan, has decided to withdraw his offer to sell the airline. The Aga Khan, who started Meridiana as Alisarda in 1963, has gradually been disposing of his Sardinian holdings and offered the airline for sale in January through Lloyds TSB and KPMG Corporate Finance. Although there was considerable interest, none of the proposals met the Aga Khan’s criteria of protecting the interests of the airline and its employees and of sustaining the Sardinian economy. Meridiana operates four BAe 146-200s from Florence to Italian domestic and European destinations. It had closely examined the possibility of replacing the 146s with RJXs, which would allow it to operate its longer routes to London and Amsterdam without weight restrictions even on hot days, but the proposed sale had put a decision on hold.
Recent news items on Meridiana: