The Italian government wants to quickly find a partner for the national airline. This is why Lufthansa could soon join ITA Airways.
23.01.22 – 22:00 | Stefan Eiselin 0 comments
ITA’s aviators: born in 2021, engaged in 2022?
Lufthansa was already attracted to Alitalia. Not because she was a very attractive bride, but because the dowry was lavish: the market Italy. It did not work out, also because the Germans were always reluctant to do so.
In the meantime, however, the aviation giant’s management is trying again with its successor, ITA Airways. The mtgift is just as lush, the bride more attractive because unencumbered by the past. Even before the airline began operations, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr therefore met with its leadership in Rome. "We believe that the natural home for a new Italian nation airline is a partnership with Lufthansa," he said in October.
The rumor mill is bubbling
Then, two weeks ago, rumors suddenly emerged from Italy that the German’s entry into the Italian airline was taking concrete shape. Lufthansa plans to acquire a stake of up to 40 percent in ITA Airways. Officially, however, no one has confirmed this.
At the weekend, the Italian newspaper Il Foglio reported once again that a 40 percent stake was at stake. It could be announced as early as the next few days and included commitments to expand the fleet and the Rome-Fiumicino hub.
Start in several steps
Shortly afterwards, the Corriere della Sera also took up the subject. The newspaper reported that there had been many meetings on the subject in recent weeks. Lufthansa’s stake in ITA is said to be around 35 percent.
However, this is only a first step, in the medium term, the increase to the majority is planned, according to the report. That would be the approach the German group once took with Brussels Airlines. In 2008, Lufthansa took over 45 percent of the Belgian airline, then eight years later the rest.
Good relations at government level
The driver of the talks is apparently also the government of Mario Draghi. It recognized that ITA’s starting position had not improved and that the airline needed a strategic partner quickly. Because the delayed start meant the airline missed the strong summer season. In addition, the price of oil has increased by 60 percent in one year, which has markedly increased fuel expenses. In addition, ITA has to lease more aircraft than planned, which has a positive effect in the short term but drives up costs in the medium term.
Fertilizing the talks, he said, is the fact that there are the best relations between Prime Minister and ex-ECB chief Draghi and the German government. However, the last word has not yet been spoken. Because also the management of Air France-KLM was seen in the past weeks according to the Corriere della Sera repeatedly in Rome.
Important Supervisory Board Meeting
On 31. January, according to the report, there will be a board meeting of ITA Airways. At which the adjusted business plan is to be presented. And it would serve as a basis for the concrete talks. Itansa could therefore soon become a fact.
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