The German airline Lufthansa agreed this Thursday with the Italian State to take over 41% of the airline Ita Airways, born from the liquidation of the old Alitalia and for which a partner had been sought for years. The Italian Ministry of Economy, owner of the entirety of Ita Airways, confirmed the operation in a statement after meeting in Rome with the CEO of Lufthansa, Carsten Sphor, and with the president of the Italian company, Antonino Turicchi.
Lufhansa itself announced in a statement that it will acquire 41% of the Italian airline through a capital injection of 325 million euros, with the option to acquire the rest of the shares at a later date. The Italian Economy Minister, Giancarlo Giorgetti, spoke of “an integration perspective” in the Ministry’s note. “Today a path that has marked the history of the national airline with a perspective of integration into an important European airline closes,” he celebrated.
In this sense, he presumed that with the Government of Giorgia Meloni, in power since last October, “a knot has been untied that for thirty years has conditioned the air transport market in Italy.” “We are convinced that this decision will allow the air market to develop in the interest of Italy”, he concluded.
For his part, Spohr described the agreement as “good news for Italian consumers and for Europe” because “a stronger Ita will reinforce competition in the Italian market,” he claimed. The agreement, which must be submitted to the evaluation of the Italian Court of Auditors and the general direction for competition of the European Commission, marks a “shared” strategy of Ita by its two shareholders, the Italian State and Lufthasa.
Own address and identity
ITA Airways was founded in October 2021 as a separate airline from its predecessor, Alitalia, which was dismantled after years of trying to avoid bankruptcy. Since then, the Ministry of Economy, until now the only shareholder of Ita, was looking for an economic partner, until last February it was revealed that Lufthansa intended to buy 40% of Ita for between 250 and 300 million euros.
The German airline, for its part, announced in its statement that commercial and operational cooperation between the two companies will begin immediately, but that Ita will maintain its own direction and brand identity.
In addition, he indicated that to guarantee sustainable growth, the German group intends to further expand its cooperation with the Italian railway company, Ferrovie dello Stato, with which it already signed an agreement last February. The operation announced today was studied by the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, and the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a bilateral meeting at the recent G7 in Hiroshima.
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