ITA Airways: growing fast, but sub-scale; Lufthansa deal probed

Premium Analysis

In 2023 Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA Airways) carried 15 million passengers, which was a 50% increase year-on-year.

However, this was still 30% below the 21.3 million recorded in 2019 by its predecessor, Alitalia, which was itself already sub-scale, after shrinking for years.

ITA's route network, capacity and fleet are also still noticeably smaller than Alitalia's in 2019. Its capacity is more focused around larger aircraft, with a greater emphasis on international routes (particularly intercontinental), and with more frequencies per route.

ITA's capacity is growing strongly, but from a relatively low starting point. Its seat share in Italy is lower than Alitalia's in 2019, whereas Ryanair has sharply increased its share over the same period since 2019.

Lufthansa's planned investment in ITA, potentially leading to eventual full control, is now subject to an in-depth EC investigation, but is important to a still sub-scale ITA Airways.

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