Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Francesco Rutelli said that Alitalia should remain in Italian hands, the daily La Repubblica reported, citing Rutelli.
The fate of Alitalia "should not be decided by foreign partners but by Italian companies," Rutelli said.
According to the daily Il Messaggero, Rutelli said a tie-up with Italy's AirOne would make sense.
"It's clear that it would be rational for Alitalia and AirOne to link up, "Rutelli said.
The deputy prime minister said Italy should follow the example of France and Germany where the national carriers integrated regional airlines.
"In those cases the Antitrust authority had no objections and neither did the EU Commission," Rutelli said.
Italy's economy ministry owns a 49% stake in Alitalia.