The government is meeting with the board of Alitalia and the banks today to consider the future of the airline with "all options on the table." FS CEO, Mr Mauro Moretti, was expected to be present at the meeting.

The proposal for FS to invest in Alitalia has the backing of the prime minister, Mr Enrico Letta, the minister of transport, Mr Maurizio Lupi, and the development minister Mr Flavio Zanonato.

The government is keen to save Italy's ailing national airline, which has been on the critical list for several years. Bringing air and rail together could have several benefits for passengers by providing through ticketing and joint marketing.