Even when Italy’s national airline was still called Alitalia and not ITA Airways, Lufthansa was interested in a takeover. The German airline group is now closer to success than ever before. The group is currently negotiating exclusively with the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance. According to the newspaper Corriere della Sera, the deadline for this is not just six weeks, as first reported, but even up to April 14th.

However, the paper also reports that the signing of a preliminary contract is already planned for the period between March 15th and 31st. This contract is intended to provide that Lufthansa will first take over 40 percent of ITA Airways and then later increase it to 100 percent. This plan was already known. But there is also a new detail.

During negotiations between ITA boss Fabio Lazzerini and unions on Tuesday (January 31), it came to light that the plan also envisages the return of the Alitalia brand – but only if the airline makes a profit and only for intercontinental traffic. On domestic routes and traffic within Europe, ITA Airways, with its blue livery, will remain the brand with which the airline operates.

Two government sources confirmed this information to Corriere. However, they also stated that nothing had been decided yet and changes to the plan were possible.

The idea is not entirely new. Italian newspapers had already reported in early 2022 that the board of ITA Airways wanted to revive the Alitalia brand. ITA acquired the brand for €90 million to ensure no competitor would buy it.

Negotiations between Lazzerini and the unions on Tuesday revolved around wage increases. Finding a solution to the question of salary is one of the major tasks at ITA. Apparently, there has not been much progress with the current ones on Tuesday. A pay rise could be one of Lufthansa’s first decisions, the newspaper reports, citing government sources.

This article was written by Timo Nowack

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The original of this article “Trigger offers sweeten the Italian airline’s takeover of Lufthansa” comes from aeroTelegraph.