(dpa) - Air France-KLM walked out Wednesday from talks with unions representing Alitalia workers on the French-Dutch airline's buyout offer for Italy's struggling flagship carrier.
Alitalia announced the move in an evening statement which also said the Italian airline's President Maurizio Prato had resigned ahead of an Alitalia board meeting on what to do next scheduled for Thursday.
Earlier, Air France-KLM CEO Jean Cyril Spinetta left Rome for Paris following the break-down in talks with the unions.
"This proposal is not acceptable because it doesn't form part of my mandate," Air France-KLM CEO Jean Cyril Spinetta said, according to the ANSA news agency citing sources who attended the talks.
Spinetta was referring to a proposal made by the eight unions represented at the talks that Air France-KLM should purchase all of Alitalia's operations, including the Italian carrier's ground service unit, which was not included in the deal by Air France-KLM.
The unions also want Air France-KLM to keep Alitalia's cargo unit operational and to accelerate plans to overhaul the Italian carrier's fleet.
Wednesday afternoon's walkout by Air France-KLM and Prato's resignation are the latest setbacks to hit the financially troubled Italian airline.
On Monday one of the main unions representing Alitalia workers, UIL, abandoned the talks with Air France-KLM, describing them as useless until a new government can decide whether to go ahead with a deal is in place in Italy.
The outgoing centre-left government in Rome has favoured Air France-KLM buyout attempt, but centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi who leads opinion polls ahead of April 13-14's scheduled elections says he wants Alitalia to remain in Italian hands.
Unions oppose Air France-KLM's intention to cut some 2,100 jobs if its attempt to take over the Italian state's controlling interest in Alitalia goes through.
Another major sticking point is the future of the Milan hub Malpensa which Air France-KLM plans to downsize in favour of Rome's Fiumicino airport as the centre of Alitalia's operations.