ITA Airways sale: Certares/Air France-KLM/Delta in exclusive talks

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The Italian government has given exclusivity over the next phase of negotiations to buy a stake in Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA Airways) to a consortium led by the New York investment firm Certares as equity partner, with Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines as commercial and operational partners.

This is in preference to a consortium consisting of the Swiss-Italian shipping company MSC and Lufthansa, which had previously been seen by many as the frontrunner.

ITA Airways launched operations in Oct-2021, succeeding the perennial loss-maker Alitalia as Italy's flag carrier. It is currently owned by the Italian State, which has been seeking equity and commercial partners for the airline since Feb-2022.

Total seat capacity in Italy in the week of 5-Sep-2022 has reached 94% of the equivalent week of 2019, led by LCCs. However, ITA is at only 59% of Alitalia's 2019 level. Such a low proportion of pre-pandemic capacity at this stage of the recovery highlights the scale of the damage to its network.

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