The future of distressed Italian airline Windjet looked bleak on Tuesday after a director of national flag carrier Alitalia said there was no chance of finding a way to keep it operating.
Alitalia managing director Andrea Ragnetti told media there was "no longer any chance of dialogue" with Windjet representatives ahead of a meeting hosted by Italian Economic Development Minister Corrado Passera in Rome.
Alitalia walked out of the negotiations begun several months ago after Windjet boss Stefano Rantuccio accused it of trying to impose unfavourable conditions on his company.
Alitalia charged that Windjet clearly had no intention of respecting provisional agreements aimed at saving the budget operator.
Windjet is said by Italian media to be weighed down by around 140 million euros ($170 million) in debt, and its failure would mean the loss of between 500 and 800 jobs.
Passera had called on negotiators from the two airlines and the aviation authority ENAC to try and rescue stalled negotiations on a takeover.
Windjet has further claimed that Alitalia wants to cut the price it would pay for a takeover, while Alitalia insists that taking on the Sicilian airline would entail "intolerable financial risks".
All Windjet flights have been grounded, and passengers holding tickets valid until the end of August have been directed to other airlines, for an extra fee of up to 250 euros for international flights.
No information has been given for the up to 300,000 people that have already reserved flights through October.
ENAC has not yet revoked the carrier's operating licence however, pending the meeting hosted by Passera.