Lufthansa confirmed yesterday that it has submitted an offer to the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance to acquire ITA.
ITA is the ‘reborn’ Alitalia, although the airline is not currently operating on the scale of its predecessor. Having been through numerous bailouts, at huge cost to Italian taxpayers, it seems that the Government may be close to seeing the back of its problem child.
Lufthansa has proposed to purchase a minority stake in ITA in the short term – rumoured to be 40% – but with an option to acquire the remainder at a future date.
If the offer made yesterday is accepted, the Government would enter into a period of exclusivity with Lufthansa Group to reach a binding agreement.
Lufthansa is now bidding alone, as its original partner – shipping group MSC – has backed out. An Air France-backed bid also seems to have faded away.
If Lufthansa succeeds in acquiring ITA, it is virtually certain that the airline with leave SkyTeam and join Star Alliance. The airline would join Lufthansa’s Miles & More loyalty scheme.
Anyone who got ITA elite status via a match from their British Airways Executive Club card in 2022 could soon find themselves with Star Alliance status.