A359 ITAAirways 640Lufthansa Group gets the greenlight for ITA Airways acquisition

On 3 July 2024, the European Commission has approved the sale of 41% of ITA Airways to the Lufthansa Group. As a result of the permission, Lufthansa has announced it expects to close the transaction in the fourth quarter of this year.

The approval does come with some conditions for the airline's in order to secure competition. First, Lufthansa and ITA Airways need to enable rival airlines to start non-stop flights from Milan and Rome to certain Central European airports. The rival airlines need to operate these routes for a certain minimum period and needs to have access to ITA Airways domestic network.

Secondly, ITA and Lufthansa need to work with rival airlines to increase competeniveness on long-haul routes out of Italy to Canada and the US.

Lastly, Lufthansa and ITA Airways need to give-up slots at Milan-Linate Airport in order for a rival airline to be able to establish a sustainable base at the airport.

The Lufthansa Group announced its intention to acquire 41% of ITA Airways in May 2023. It has also secured the right to buy the remaining shares in ITA Airways from the Italian Ministry of Economy & Finance from 2025 onwards. As part of the deal, ITA Airways will leave SkyTeam and become a full member of the Star Alliance.

Photo by Airbus.

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