Deutsche Lufthansa AG (Lufthansa) has agreed with the Italian Ministry of Economy (Ministero dell’Economia e delle Finanze, MEF) to acquire a 41% stake in ITA Airways through a capital increase of €325 million (£283 million). As part of the agreement, the MEF has also committed to a capital increase of €250 million into ITA. Lufthansa has also included the option to acquire the remaining 59% of the carrier’s shares at a later date. The purchase price for the remaining shares will be based on the business development of ITA Airways.
ITA Airways will be Lufthansa Group’s fifth network carrier in its multi-brand and multi-hub system. As part of Lufthansa Group, ITA will remain a standalone airline with its own management – in line with Lufthansa Group’s successful multi-hub, multi-brand and multi-AOC strategy. The acquisition of the minority stake is subject to approval by the relevant authorities.
Carsten Spohr, Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Lufthansa AG said: “Today’s agreement will lead to a win-win situation for Italy, ITA Airways and Lufthansa Group. And it is good news for Italian consumers and for Europe, because a stronger ITA will invigorate competition in the Italian market. As a young company with a modern fleet, and with its efficient and expanding hub in Rome, ITA is a perfect fit for Lufthansa Group. In Milan, ITA serves a strong catchment area which also offers potential for growth. As part of the Lufthansa Group family, ITA can develop into a sustainable and profitable airline, connecting Italy with Europe and the world. At the same time, this investment will enable us to continue our growth in one of our most important markets.”
Founded in November 2020, ITA Airways has roughly 4,000 employees today. Headquartered in Rome, the airline has catered for more than 10 million passengers per year while operating 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 improved connectivity to the Southern hemisphere. Currently, ITA serves 64 destinations: 21 domestic, 33 international and 10 intercontinental routes.