Lufthansa has reached an agreement to acquire a 41% stake in ITA (Italia Trasporto Aereo), the Italian carrier, with the potential to acquire the remaining shares in the future.
The deal, valued at €325 million (US$348 million), involves a capital increase and has been approved by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), which will also inject €250 million into ITA.
The acquisition is part of Lufthansa's strategy to expand its presence and strengthen its position in the European market. ITA, with its modern fleet and efficient hub in Rome, aligns well with Lufthansa's goals.
The airline also serves a promising catchment area in Milan, offering growth opportunities. By integrating ITA into the Lufthansa Group, both companies aim to create a sustainable and profitable airline that connects Italy with Europe and the rest of the world.
Lufthansa Cargo expressed its enthusiasm for the partnership, welcoming ITA Airways to the Lufthansa Group family. The investment is seen as a significant opportunity to enhance the Italian aviation market and foster joint cooperation among the companies involved.
"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," said Carsten Spohr, chief executive officer of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
"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," he added.
ITA Airways was founded in November 2020 and has approximately 4,000 employees. Currently, ITA serves 64 destinations: 21 domestic, 33 international and 10 intercontinental routes.
ITA to remain a standalone airline
The announcement said as part of Lufthansa Group, ITA will remain a standalone airline with its own management and a strong brand identity — in line with Lufthansa Group's successful multi-hub, multi-brand and multi-AOC strategy.
At the same time, it added that ITA can benefit from synergies of the Group, such as access to the partner network, central revenue management and the use of Lufthansa Group's global sales and marketing channels.
To ensure that ITA’s growth is sustainable, Lufthansa Group intends to extend the intermodal transport for feeder traffic within Italy. For this purpose, Lufthansa Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Italian state railroad company Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane S.p.A. last February — aimed to increasingly transport passengers in Italy with rail connections to and from their respective flight connections at various Italian airports.
With the addition of ITA, the Lufthansa Group expands its portfolio to include five network carriers and six hubs. Alongside Lufthansa's existing hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, the group encompasses the Brussels, Vienna, and Zurich hubs through its subsidiaries Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines, and Swiss International.