Lufthansa May Be Inching Closer To A €200m Alitalia Investment

For some weeks now, there have been rumors floating around that Lufthansa could be preparing to invest in Italian flag carrier Alitalia. Now, it seems as though a deal could be one step closer as Reuters reports that the German flag carrier is ready to invest €200 million.

Lufthansa, Alitalia, Investment
Lufthansa could be eyeing an investment in Italian flag carrier Alitalia. Photo: Lufthansa

Alitalia has now been financially troubled for quite some time. In fact, for a decent portion of the year so far, the carrier has been accepting bids that had seen the likes of Delta Air Lines and easyJet expressing interest. However, in spite of this, it seems as though Lufthansa may be looking to take the reins of Italy’s flag carrier.

What do we know?

Alitalia has been in the hands of administrators since mid-2017. Since then, the airline has failed to successfully relaunch, and as a consequence is now looking for new investment. The previous deadline for bids in the struggling carrier was on the 15th of October. However, as no agreement had been reached regarding the carrier’s future, this was extended to the 21st of November.

The Italian market is very important for Lufthansa, and as such, the airline has been interested in a restructured Alitalia. The Lufthansa Group currently contains SWISS, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, and others. Adding Alitalia to this mix would give the group another carrier, increasing its footprint.

Lufthansa, Alitalia, Investment
The Lufthansa Group owns a number of different brands. Photo: Lufthansa

Will Lufthansa invest?

For a while now we have known of Lufthansa’s interest in a restructured Alitalia. Now, Reuters is reporting that the German flag carrier is ready to invest as much as €200 into the struggling Italian airline.

According to an unnamed source, the publication reported that Lufthansa had written to Italian rail company Ferrovie Dello Stato in addition to Italy’s industry ministry. This was reportedly a pledge to take a stake in the airline.

Lufthansa’s stance

When contacted by Simple Flying Lufthansa told us that there was no news on an Italian investment, and as such, the airline’s previous statement still stands. The airline previously told us:

“The Italian market is very important to us. We have always stressed our interest in a restructured Alitalia. A commercial partnership is also conceivable for the Lufthansa Group. We do not comment on any further speculations.”

Lufthansa, Alitalia, Investment
Alitalia has been in administration since mid-2017. Photo: Alitalia

While the news is based on an unidentified source, there could be some substance to it. Reuters is typically a trustworthy source, and several similar speculations by the publication have proven to be true.

Elsewhere, a few weeks ago Simple Flying reported that Lufthansa could also be interested in entering the Slovenian market following the collapse of national carrier Adria Airways.

Do you think Lufthansa will invest in Alitalia? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Josh

And Is delta’s investment staying ? That’s a fight of the alliances !

Phil

Could we be seeing a new star alliance member I wonder?

Remy

How is it possible that such an investment would get the necessary regulatory approvals?

It shouldn’t be allowed that a single carrier can own so many other carriers. Lufthansa is also interested in Air Namibia for example.

Hein Vandenbergh

Lufthansa beware: dealing with Italian trade unions has been the issue with Alitalia all along. No investor has had any luck changing their attitudes, and I don’t think Lufthansa will do any better. In the past, over MANY years, airlines such as KLM, Air France, Ethihad and others have walked away from investment in or co-operation with Alitalia. I think Alitalia should just be allowed to bleed-out and be given a state funeral.

sam

That is exactly the problem with Alitalia.

I am reminded of an interview I saw with the CEO of Qatar Airways. He was asked why the airlines of the Gulf states have been so successful compared with their counterparts in Europe. He said: “Because we don’t have unions to deal with.”

Hein Vandenbergh

Maybe, Sam, to an extent. I think the main reason for their success is enormous state subsidies and guarantees. I have nothing against trade unions, the German ones are quite powerful but work-in with the corporate sector to mutual benefit and their members’ best interests in the face of whatever circumstances. Difficult sometimes, but a good compromise is always reached. As Lufthansa found out for itself quite recently. Workers need protection from whatever capitalism may try to throw at them. So both the latter AND trade unions have legitimate reasons for their existence. The Italian trade unions, however, are in… Read more »

Davide

I am Italian, in Italy, about Alitalia we talk a lot who will be the next buyer.
Our preferred choice would be Lufthansa, because they have a fantastic reputation here in Italy.