taly’s new government is attempting to finalize efforts to get Lufthansa Group to take over ITA.The Italian coalition government is voicing a desire to divest the Italian government’s investment in Italy’s flag carrier ITA Airways, in phases. This is following the Italian government’s purchase of Alitalia in March 2020, an airline that was in administration, and subsequent bankruptcy in 2017, after Etihad Airways divested its 49% stake.Being that the government and especially its Minister of Finance Giancarlo Giorgetti believes in federalism and free enterprise and therefore disavows government interference in the free market economy – it is only logical that this government attempt to divest from owning an airline. According to governo.it the Italian government website and translated by Google into English,The Council of Ministers, on the proposal of the Minister of the Economy and Finance Giancarlo Giorgetti, approved a decree of the President of the Council of Ministers relating to the methods of alienation of the shareholding of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance in ITA SpaThe provision, in in order to speed up the transfer, it confirms the subjects who participated in the previous procedure and, at the same time, eliminates the constraint for the Treasury to transfer the majority of the company. For the purposes of the sale, the business plan of the candidate airline acquirer assumes significant importance.There are reports from ilpost.it and Reuters that Lufthansa has emerged as the likely buyer of the offered shares in ITA Airways (aka ITA Spa).Consistent Lufthansa Group interestLufthansa was supposed to be on final approach to team up with Meditterian Shipping Company (MSC) to purchase ITA Airways in February, but other potential buyers expressed interest. Lufthansa Group has been consistently interested in acquiring ITA Airways throughout 2022.This is perhaps because of the perceived potential of an Italian hub for the airline. Back in March, Simple Flying reported that according to ch-aviation.com, CEO Carsten Spohr – pictured above – called Italy the world’s second most important strategic aviation market. Spohr was even quoted as saying;”All those who have been involved in the matter for a while will know that Italy is the most important international market for us in Europe, and it’s number two worldwide, second only to the US.Even after – according to a Reuters December 22, 2022, report – MSC pulled away, Lufthansa has maintained interest. This is after Delta Air Lines and others have withdrawn from negotiations.Fleet scaleA discussion of airline fleets seems appropriate considering these remarks by ITA Airways board member Alfredo Altavilla in Airliners.de,”It would be wrong to remain independent because we would always be too small compared to the three big airline groups operating in Europe. We are a pretty bachelorette who has many admirers… we hope that Lufthansa will be one of those handsome and rich admirers who might be interested in ITA Airways”.Worth noting that according to ch-aviation.com, ITA Airways has a fleet of 59 active aircraft – all Airbus – with six in maintenance and 69 Airbuses on orderFor scale, Lufthansa – the main airline of Lufthansa Group and pictured the furthest left above – splits its orders between Airbus and Boeing, with 110 aircraft on order. Lufthansa has 215 active aircraft. Active, of course, means not counting those in maintenance when checked on December 22, 2022.As to the rest of Lufthansa Group going right to left on the graphic – Eurowings, the low-cost member of Lufthansa Group, has 81 active aircraft and was profiled last summer. Brussels Airlines and its subsidiaries have 36 active aircraft, and Austrian Airlines has 57 active aircraft and SWISS has 83 active aircraft. This makes it appear easy for Lufthansa Group to absorb ITA Airways Airbuses seamlessly into its network with the same general aircraft parts and training requirements for personnel.
This article was originally published by simply flying.