Yesterday, Lufthansa announced it had submitted a formal bid to acquire a stake in newly founded ITA Airways. The bid has been directed towards the Italian government, where Lufthansa hopes it’ll be approved.
The plan for Lufthansa is to acquire a minority stake initially. The carrier hopes they’ll have the option to purchase the remaining shares with time.
What airline, group or company is looking to acquire ITA Airways has been rumoured since before it started operations. Delta (later to be denied), Air France-KLM and more were all rumoured to be options potentially with joint bids. However, it is ultimately Lufthansa now in the driving seat for this acquisition.
Lufthansa is part of the wider Lufthansa group. This group features airlines such as Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, SWISS, Brussels Airlines and soon, with time, ITA Airways.
ITA Airways was established in October 2021, essentially born from the collapse of Alitalia. Many questions surrounded ITA’s feasibility and whether it would survive in a market that saw Alitalia struggle severely for years. ITA’s fresh start gave them the upper hand. It’s about how they navigate the following years that’ll be crucial to their long-term success.
For the Lufthansa Group, Italy is a critical market. Therefore, acquiring ITA means the group will have a firm grip on the market and allow it to intertwine with its existing portfolio of airlines.