Alitalia files for bankruptcy protection

ROME (AP) -- Italy's national airline Alitalia says it has filed for bankruptcy protection, taking the first step in reshaping what has been a failing company.

Alitalia said in a statement Friday that its board had asked the government to appoint an administrator and had declared insolvency to a Rome court.

The airline has been losing almost $3 million a day -- hurt by labor unrest, competition from budget airlines and high fuel prices. Its shares have been suspended from trading since June.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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