by: Mario Masciullo – eTN Italy | copyright: eTurboNews – Travel Industry News – World Travel News
This confirms a certain haste by the MEF is increasingly leaking out to close the negotiations with an agreement already possible by the end of March. Meanwhile, ITA will join the Board of Airline Representatives in Germany (BARIG).
Lufthansa is reportedly preparing an industrial plan that provides for the return of the Alitalia brand – according to reports from Corriere della Sera – but only “when ITA will produce profits on the intercontinental services, then ITA operation will be on domestic and Europeans services.” Lufthansa will have to pay a 250-300 million fee to gain a 40% stake and in a second phase going up to 100% of ITA’s value.
The industrial plan of Lufthansa
Meanwhile, among the issues to be addressed in the 2023-2027 business plan there are also employee wages. In fact, the meeting of January 30 between the Managing Director, Fabio Lazzerini, and the unions FILT CGIL (Italian Federation of Transport Workers), FIT CISL (Italian Transport Federation), Uiltrasporti, UGL (General Labour Union), ANPAC (National Professional Association of Civil Aviation), ANPAV (National Professional Association of Flight Attendants), and ANP (Italian Association for School Heads and Teachers) ended with a new stalemate. They have activated the “second phase of the cooling and conciliation procedure” which could lead to a next strike even if they recognize “some willingness of the company to take steps forward.”
2 months to the future of ITA
The deadline of the MEF to close the negotiation with Lufthansa seems to be rapid. It just may be that in the summer 2023, the ITA logo could join Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Swiss, and Austrian within the largest European aviation group.
As part of the exclusive negotiation, the actual agreement will be drawn up and will define the exact investment, the industrial plan, and the governance of the future company will be established, i.e., how its board of directors will be distributed. It follows the signing of a preliminary sales agreement, which must receive the go-ahead from the Court of Auditors, the Italian competition, market authority, and the EU antitrust.
“The sale of a minority stake of ITA Airways to Lufthansa could be completed within 2 months.”
“I believe that the times we have given ourselves are reasonably 2 months, maximum,” said the head of the MEF, Giancarlo Giorgetti, in recent days. Therefore, by the beginning of June, the closing deal could be reached with the operational entry of Lufthansa into Italy very shortly.
Entry into BARIG
ITA’s entry into the association of airlines operating in Germany assumes a strategic value, and this is also shown by the statements of BARIG and of the Italian carrier itself, which celebrate this new step for ITA.
“ITA Airways is a young and modern airline and ambassador of ‘Made in Italy’ in the world.”
Michael Hoppe, President and Executive Director of BARIG, added: “We are very pleased that ITA, like more than 100 other airlines, has chosen to be a member of the our organization.”
“Germany is a strategic market for ITA, and we are proud to be members of BARIG. From sustainability to fair competition, BARIG advances key aviation issues that are essential for our airline,” added Rodney Cali, Country Manager Germany at ITA Airways. “To ensure connectivity between Germany and Italy, ITA Airways offers 94 weekly flights from Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart, and Duesseldorf to its 2 hubs in Italy – Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate – as well as further connections with the entire Italian network and with the main international destinations.”
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