Lufthansa likely to buy up to 40% of ITA Airways

Lufthansa, the German aviation group, is interested in the Italian market and, according to a report, has presented a concept for integrating Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA) Airways. ITA’s board has also expressed interest in partnering with Lufthansa; a deal could be reached as early as this summer.

According to the details, Lufthansa has presented a concept for the integration of ITA Airways. In addition to commercial cooperation in the area of ​​flight schedules and sales, the content also includes the exploitation of synergies such as purchasing or maintenance as well as the expansion of Rome-Fiumicino into a group hub.

Lufthansa is enjoying the new Italian airline’s strategy, the report says. The switch to new aircraft, the clean-up of contaminated sites and the focus on quality, which was initiated with the order and leasing of Airbus A220, A320 Neo, A330 Neo and A350, are well received in Frankfurt. So good that Lufthansa has proposed a 15 to 40 percent stake in ITA Airways.

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The participation would also have another purpose: it would be a way to keep competitors away. “After the USA, Italy is our most important foreign market,” said Lufthansa chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) Carsten Spohr recently. Therefore, he wants to prevent the former Alitalia partners Air France, Delta and KLM from snatching ITA.

The three partners have already shown interest in Alitalia. They are also all members of the Skyteam Alliance. ITA also joined it, however, according to media reports, membership only lasts twelve months.

A few weeks ago, ITA President Alfredo Altavilla made it clear that he was very interested in a takeover by Lufthansa.

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Alfredo Altavilla was quoted in December by as saying, “It would be wrong to remain independent because we would always be too small compared to the three big airline groups operating in Europe. We are a pretty bachelorette who has many admirers… we hope that Lufthansa will be one of those handsome and rich admirers who might be interested in ITA Airways”.

The German airline has been holding talks with management in Rome since the launch of the new Italian national airline. ITA Airways started operations on October 15, 2021. It is currently heading for 48 destinations with a fleet of 52 aircraft.

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