Union sources said job losses at Alitalia are part of a restructuring plan, according to Reuters (Reuters)

German flag carrier Lufthansa is interested in shaping the direction of Italy's aviation market but is not keen on the country's beleaguered airline Alitalia 'as it looks today.'

In a call with analysts on Wednesday (2 August), Ulrik Svensson, chief financial officer of Lufthansa, said his company is not going to take over Alitalia, which is facing a liquidation order in the absence of suitable buyers.

However, he added: "Italy is indeed a very interesting market and we will see how we can play an active role. We are not willing to indicate in what way we can play that role yet."

Svensson also declined comment on whether the group has made any non-binding offer in light of the situation or the nature of its talks with the Italian government.

Last month, budget carrier Ryanair expressed its conditional interest in Alitalia.

"We are serious in indicating we have an interest in Alitalia," said Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary on 25 July.

"But we are also serious in that our interest in Alitalia is only [...] if there was a significant restructuring so that Alitalia could reasonably be seen to operate on a profitable basis."

O'Leary, however, warned one of the conditions for Ryanair taking the process forward was "an absence of Italian government interference".