The sale of ITA Airways to Lufthansa goes ahead
German airline Lufthansa recently planned to buy newly created Italian airline ITA Airways. They recently expressed interest in the airline, apparently looking to buy 40% of it. ITA Airways was founded by the Italian government after the collapse of Alitalia and offers exciting opportunities for Lufthansa.
Lufthansa owns many airlines across the European continent. They currently own Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings and many more. Now they are looking to expand and ITA Airways seems like the perfect fit for them.
On Friday, the Italian government announced that it had started the process of selling ITA Airways. This is good news for Lufthansa and shipping company MSC, which both want to buy the airline.
Just recently, Lufthansa requested a 90-day period during which ITA cannot enter into talks with other airlines. This is to allow the group to review the financial books of the ITA.
ITA Airways almost seems to need this Lufthansa property. In Italy, budget airlines like easyJet, Ryanair and Wizz all fly to popular destinations like Rome. We all know that customers tend to choose budget airlines over full-service airlines like Lufthansa. This acquisition by Lufthansa therefore seems to be an excellent option for ITA. After all, they reported a deficit in its first months of operation.
ITA Airways has had an eventful first few months. Photo: ITA Airways
If all goes well with Lufthansa, it should officially make an offer to the Italian government. The former Italian Prime Minister rejected an offer from the Air France-KLM group to buy the former bankrupt Alitalia, citing “strategic importance”. Thus, this decision by the new government shows that Italy does not want the same thing to happen to ITA as to Alitalia.
Who will have control?
Last week we announced that ITA Airways had confirmed Lufthansa’s interest in a majority stake in the company. It is likely that, to begin with, Lufthansa will control a minority of the airline. Then, at a later date, it could take a majority stake. At a press conference on Friday, Italy’s economy minister said the government “would initially retain a minority stake, which could be sold later.”
Lufthansa is seeking a majority of ITA Airways. Photo: Getty Images
Lufthansa and Italy
Lufthansa has been trying for a very, very long time to enter the Italian market. This is not the first time he has dealt with the Italian government, nor the first time he has tried to buy an Italian airline. In February 2021, we reported that Lufthansa was trying to buy the now bankrupt airline Alitalia. Now he is off again for the second round.
In addition, in November 2019, the German group tried to invest 200 million euros in Alitalia. Lufthansa has been returning to Italy for almost ten years now.
ITA Airways, like its predecessor, is a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance. If Lufthansa takes over, ITA will almost certainly leave SkyTeam and join StarAlliance.
ITA could leave SkyTeam if Lufthansa takes over. Photo: Tom Boon | single flight
With this possible development, Lufthansa further strengthens its dominance in the European market. ITA will become another airline with which it will share routes.
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