European commission gives green light to Lufthansa-ITA airways merger

ROME, July 4 (Bernama-Xinhua) — The European Commission has approved the merger between Italy’s ITA Airways and Germany’s Lufthansa on Wednesday, reported Xinhua.

The deal, which has been in progress since ITA Airways was established in 2020, follows discussions between Lufthansa and Alitalia, ITA’s predecessor, before Alitalia’s bankruptcy and restructuring into ITA Airways.

Italy’s Minister of Finance, Giancarlo Giorgetti, praised the merger, highlighting its potential to establish Rome as a key “hub for air travel to the United States and Africa” through Lufthansa’s extensive network.

However, the European Commission’s approval comes with conditions that are aimed at maintaining competition on routes where Lufthansa holds significant operations. Lufthansa has already agreed to concessions on certain routes and is expected to make further adjustments in the coming weeks.

The merger will grant ITA Airways access to Lufthansa’s vast network spanning Europe, North America, and Asia. In return, Lufthansa will gain comprehensive access to the Italian market and ITA Airways’ routes to Africa and major U.S. cities.

Under the terms of the agreement, Lufthansa will initially acquire a 41 per cent stake in ITA Airways from Italy’s Ministry of Finance for 325 million euros (US$350 million). The Ministry of Finance will retain control of the remaining shares. By 2033, Lufthansa plans to assume full ownership of ITA Airways at a total cost of 829 million euros.