Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA Airways) woos Lufthansa

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According to a number of media reports, Lufthansa is talking to Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA Airways) about the possible acquisition of a 15% to 40% stake in the Italian airline. Discussions include cooperation on purchasing and the development of Rome Fiumicino as a hub.

Italy's new national airline, ITA was launched in Oct-2021 to take over from the perennial loss-maker Alitalia, which ceased operations at the same time.

Based on data from OAG and CAPA for the week of 10-Jan-2022, ITA is the 17th biggest airline group by seats in Europe and Lufthansa Group is fourth. Lufthansa Group's fleet is 13 times bigger than ITA's, and the Lufthansa airline has almost 12 times as many routes as ITA.

Both sides have previously indicated interest in a partnership, although ITA has followed its now defunct predecessor Alitalia in joining SkyTeam. ITA chairman Alfredo Altavilla has described his airline as a "pretty bachelorette" and hopes "Lufthansa will be one of those handsome and rich admirers who might be interested".

ITA could benefit from a strategic investor, but Lufthansa needs to satisfy itself of ITA's potential for sustainable profitability.

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