Lufthansa Group’s acquisition of a 41% stake in ITA Airways, the new Italian flag carrier and successor of Alitalia, will have a “positive impact on the profitability of the group” by creating “synergies and opportunities for both airlines”, said Tobias Rückerl, CEO of consultancy Adavco.

ITA Airways will become the fifth network carrier in Lufthansa Group’s multi-brand and multi-hub system under the deal announced in May.

Italy represents the most important market outside the Group’s home base countries and the United States. Italy is the third-largest economy in the EU in terms of gross domestic product, with a strong export-oriented economy.

Lufthansa reached an agreement with the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) to acquire a minority stake in the Italian national carrier for EUR 325m, through a capital increase.

As part of the agreement, the MEF has also committed to a capital increase of EUR 250m into ITA.
In addition, the MEF and Lufthansa agreed on options to enable a potential acquisition of the remaining shares by Lufthansa at a later date. The purchase price for the remaining shares will be based on the business development of ITA Airways.

Speaking to FINN, Rückerl said: “This is a significant development for the European aviation industry. Lufthansa’s acquisition of ITA Airways will create synergies and opportunities for both airlines, as well as for their customers and partners. I hope this deal will be beneficial for all stakeholders and will enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the sector.”

ITA Airways

ITA Airways was founded in November 2020 and has approximately 4,000 employees today.

Headquartered in Rome, the airline welcomes more than 10 million passengers per year and is running a modern fleet of 66 Airbus aircraft. The hub in Rome is ideally situated to further diversify ITA’s network towards Africa and Latin America, offering its customers an improved connectivity to the Southern hemisphere. Currently, ITA serves 64 destinations: 21 domestic, 33 international and 10 intercontinental routes.

As part of Lufthansa Group, ITA will remain a standalone airline with its own management and a strong brand identity – in line with Lufthansa Group’s successful multi-hub, multi-brand and multi-AOC strategy.

At the same time, ITA can benefit from synergies of the Group, such as access to the partner network, central revenue management and the use of Lufthansa Group’s global sales and marketing channels.

Lower cost structure and leaner operations

Rückerl added: “The acquisition will have a positive impact on the profitability of the group, as it will allow Lufthansa to access ITA’s network of domestic and international routes, as well as its fleet of modern and fuel-efficient aircraft. Lufthansa will also benefit from ITA’s lower cost structure and leaner operations.

“The passenger experience will also be enhanced by the acquisition, as Lufthansa and ITA will offer seamless travel options, more choice and flexibility, and a harmonised product and service quality across their networks.

“This strategic move will enhance the profitability of the group by expanding its network and customer base in the European market. It will also improve the supply chain efficiency and sustainability by leveraging ITA’s modern fleet and operational excellence.

“Finally, it will strengthen the competition in the aviation industry by creating a more balanced and diversified landscape.”Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter