Thursday, June 1, 2023

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Ita, all Lufthansa plans with the Meloni government and with Airbus

Ita, all Lufthansa plans with the Meloni government and with Airbus

What the CEO of Lufthansa, Spohr, said about the present and future of Ita after the agreement with the Ministry of Economy for the former Alitalia company

"It is good news for Italian consumers and for Europe, because a stronger ITA will strengthen competition in the Italian market".

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr is convinced of this, commenting on the agreement reached by the German carrier for a minority stake in Ita Airways, the airline owned by the Mef born from the ashes of Alitalia.

Yesterday the number one of Lufthansa met Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti in Rome in the presence of the president of Ita, Antonino Turicchi, to finalize the talks that began in January but extended beyond the initial deadline of April 24.

Under the deal, Lufthansa will acquire 41% of Ita through a capital increase of 325 million euros, with the option to acquire all the remaining shares at a later stage. The Mef has undertaken to carry out the capital increase of 250 million euros; last tranche of the 1.35 billion authorized by the European Commission.

The German flag carrier intends to completely acquire Ita Airways, but only when the Italian carrier returns to profit (profit expected by 2025). Spohr stressed that Lufthansa cannot be forced to take over 100% of Alitalia's successor, as this "depends on future developments" of this company.

The structure of the transaction provides for joint operational control by the Lufthansa group and the MEF immediately after closing, with the MEF "remaining on board" to support the execution of the industrial plan. The closing of the transaction is expected by the end of the year. After the signing, the agreement will have to have the green light from the Court of Auditors, from the Italian Antitrust and from the EU Antitrust.

All the details.


Even if the Mef "remains on board" for the management of the plan, "the operational responsibility will rest with the board" in which Lufthansa, which will appoint the managing director, will be able to count on another member. The board will be made up of five members in all. This is what the number of Lufthansa, Carsten Spohr, specified in the call with analysts and international media for the presentation of the German investment in Ita Airways.


Ita Airways took off in 2021 as a state-owned company and posted a loss of around 486 million euros last year due to the lingering effects of the pandemic and rising fuel costs, Reuters recalls.

But Lufthansa's number one was optimistic: “Ita has no relationship with the old Alitalia, it is a successfully restructured company. We are convinced that it will become a profitable business, not overnight, but we aim to make it profitable again by 2025".

The business plan forecasts revenue growth of 2.5 billion euros in 2023 and 4.1 billion in 2027, according to a statement from the Ministry of Economy and Lufthansa.


According to Spohr, "the acquisition of Ita Airways will allow Lufthansa access to the key Italian market and will bring benefits to the group's shareholders and customers". “It is a big step towards growth – added the CEO of Lufthansa – we will be a more international competitor and less dependent on our domestic market. A strong restructuring has made Ita a competitive company and of the right size, there is a correct plan to make it profitable and we are confident that it will become so”. In Lufthansa's plans there is the strengthening of short-haul feeding for the Rome hub, that of long-haul flights also to Rome and the increase in the tourist offer on Linate, with the growth of point-to-point traffic” .

Furthermore, “the Lufthansa group's proven multi-brand and multi-hub strategy – continued Spohr – will preserve Ita's Italian heritage while allowing for synergies and providing further growth opportunities. We will focus on unifying the backend without compromising the identity of Ita, which is a single brand”.

Ita Airways' strategy "aims to establish itself as a reference player among full-service carriers in the three intercontinental, international and domestic sectors, with particular attention to long-haul traffic", explains the Ministry in via XX Settembre. And this strategic repositioning will also make it possible "to further strengthen the traffic of the Rome Fiumicino hub, which will play a central role in the Lufthansa Group's multi-hub model".


After that, the CEO of Lufthansa announced that "ITA's fleet will increase from the current 71 aircraft to 94 by 2027". “The fleet will be homogeneous – he said – made up entirely of Airbus and will be modernised. The planes are now leased, in the future there will be a share of owned vehicles”.

As soon as it took off in 2021, the Ita Airways company left with 52 Airbus aircraft inherited from Alitalia SpA. Already at the time it had definitively excluded Boeing from the fleet of the Italian flag carrier. So Lufthansa confirms the route change already made by the old Ita Airways company compared to Alitalia. The latter was a major operator of Boeing for much of its history, with some 777s still in its final fleet.


Finally, regarding the acquisition of the remaining shares of Ita, and therefore of the control of the company, by Lufthansa will depend on the performance of the company.

"There is an agreed option mechanism to allow for a full takeover by the Lufthansa Group in the medium term. The acquisition of the remaining shares will be discretionary, and will depend on financial performance against the agreed business plan," concluded the Lufthansa CEO. .

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Fri, 26 May 2023 14:19:24 +0000.