Lufthansa Still Keen To Partner With Struggling Alitalia

Today, Lufthansa has expressed that it is keen to partner with Alitalia. The German flag carrier said that for now, it would prefer to set up a partnership rather than invest in the Italian airline.

A320neo-Lufthansa
Lufthansa is interested in aligning with Alitalia rather than investing in it. Photo: Airbus

A different kind of offer

There were previous reports that Lufthansa was ready to invest €200 million to turn Alitalia around following its bankruptcy in 2017. However, according to Aviation International News, it will prioritize other forms of development. Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr shared that his company sees value in a commercial partnership but hasn’t ruled out an investment once the company is back on its feet.

“We have not changed our position. In the current Alitalia, we will not invest,” the executive said at the IATA Wings of Change Europe conference in Berlin, as reported by Aviation International News.

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“But we would be interested in being the commercial partner to turn the company into a successful airline. Once it is a successful airline, we also see ourselves investing.”

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Alitalia jet on taxiway
Alitalia went into administration in May 2017. Photo: Alitalia

Delayed comeback

This news comes following the Italian Government’s approval of another delay to Alitalia’s relaunch. The Italian Minister of Industry Stefano Patuanelli said that he would sign an extension of a deadline of at least eight weeks.

This was done to appease the interested parties planning to make an investment. Now, there is not long left before a consortium headed by Italy’s state-owned railway firm Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) is due to submit a plan to save the carrier.

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Italian infrastructure group Atlantia also expressed commitment to the consortium, while Delta Air Lines was also willing to invest 10 percent. However, involvement from Lufthansa may have raised questions for the US airline. Nonetheless, rather than becoming part of the consortium, Lufthansa feels that in order to become a strong operator, airlines need strong partners.

“It will be very challenging for Alitalia to be successful on their own. You need partners, nowadays, to be successful,” Spohr asserted. “Swiss needed a partner, Austrian Airlines needed a partner, Brussels Airlines needed a partner, even Lufthansa needs a partner,” Spohr added.

Alitalia jet on taxiway
The Italian government recently delayed the relaunch of Alitalia in preparation of a bid. Photo: Alitalia

Not a bad idea

The businessman then went on to speak about the strengths that Lufthansa brings to the table. He noted his company’s strong frequent flier program, along with its support in China, Canada, and Latin America.

Once relaunched, it could be in Alitalia’s interest to take on Lufthansa’s offer. With a massive network and reliable infrastructure, it could help the struggling carrier ease its way back into the fold. However, Alitalia’s overseers will be hoping that the immediate investment will be coming its way from somewhere first.

Simple Flying reached out to Lufthansa for comment but did not hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.

What do you think of Lufthansa’s idea of a partnership with Alitalia? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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Nicholas Mackenzie-Rowe

The airline is not “inactive”, and further adding “its demise” are inaccurate. The airline is flying today, so is very much active. Thereby not having suffered the demise you suggest. The airline will be around always, because it only exists as an Italian vanity project (I mean that in the nicest of ways). It has only made a profit in one year of its existence. It exists to project Italy to the world. Bad management and Italian unions stop this airline from being truly great.

TonytTDK

Exactly so.!
Why would Amy sensible business throw their good investment capital into the deep dark hole that is Alitalia,?
Which for better or worse the Italian people have bankrolled for the last 20 years, maybe more.?
Without reform of working practices, which the Italian unions won’t accept, there’s no possibility of EVER getting any money back.?

Matt

Translation, let us run Alitalia, and we will keep it from growing into a true competitor to us.

William

Its best to let Alitalia die. The people that worked for it should be fired, the board, the pilots, the flight attendants. They’re all tainted and the whole diseased mess should be allowed to die. The wonderful thing about bankruptcy is it gets rid of cancerous, anarchistic people, managements, boards, staff and unions and bad habits, Its brutal but it is ultimately for the best,

Giuseppe

What does entitle you to say that all of Alitalia’s workers should be fired? Who are you to say so? Alitalia has been badly (and fraudulently) managed, it is a fact. But in Alitalia there are thousands of workers, in all categories who have been always working honestly; seriouslty, and hard! As for the “bad” employees, they are in Alitalia exactly as they are in all companies, all over the world.
You are nobody to make such generic, unsubstantiated statements,

ROGER DENNY

If Lufty want a tie in with Alitalia it is for one reason and one reason alone: Poaching passengers, especially biz n frequent fliers.