However, it ruled that the group of investors would not be liable for repaying the loan to the state, which had been one of their conditions for buying and re-launching Alitalia.

As a result, the loan will have to be repaid with the proceeds from Alitalia's liquidation.

A new, relaunched airline is due to launch on December 1 after the former Alitalia stumbled earlier this year, losing $3.8m a day and crippled by debts totalling some $1.5m.