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