A new admirer for ITA Airways and its entrance in the freight market.

The Italian Ministry of Economics and Finance (MEF) is focused on the ITA Airways Dossier, i.e. it is in the process of evaluating offers coming from different parties interested in buying a majority share of the NewCo’s equity.

A new offer for ITA

The Italian MEF has received an additional manifestation of interest to invest in the new Italian national carrier by the US fund “Certares.” The American fund focuses its investments in the hotel and travel industries.

However, the Italian government has expressed a negative note on this investment proposal, classifying it as the least interesting from an economic point of view. Indeed, the fund is said to be ready to invest $650 million. In comparison, the Italian shipping company MSC and the commercial partner Lufthansa are interested in 80% of ITA’s share, with an investment of €1.2-1.4 billion.

In its proposal, Certares suggests a synergy with partners in the aviation industry, amongst which the Air France-KLM Group and Delta Air Lines were mentioned. The European group and Delta also seem to have teamed up with an unknown fund to express an interest in a majority stake in ITA. Indeed, a spokesperson of Delta mentioned the longstanding partnership with the former Alitalia, which the American carrier rushed to renew with the NewCo ITA, leveraging codeshare agreements and by having ITA in the Skyteam alliance.

AF A320 moments before landing. @ Marco Macca / Travel Radar
AF A320 moments before landing. @ Marco Macca / Travel Radar

A new partnership for cargo operations

Although Brussels imposed a ban on directly operating cargo flights, ITA Airways seems to have found an alternative to enter the freight market. Indeed, ITA President Alfredo Altavilla, and its CEO, Fabio Lazzerini, have signed a commercial agreement with the Italian cargo airline, Aliscargo Airlines.

Aliscargo Airlines is the only Italian airline focussing on the intercontinental transport of freight. Its mission is to connect the made in Italy with the leading international markets worldwide. Aliscargo is a relatively young company which seems to be financially sound. Indeed, a capital increase of €50 million has recently been approved. Moreover, the airline is looking to expand its fleet, which comprises two ex-Alitalia planes. Its hub is in the North of Italy, at Milan Malpensa airport.

As for now, the partnership provides nine weekly flights to New York JFK, two weekly flights to Sao Paulo (Brazil), and one weekly flight to Mumbai in India. Thanks to this agreement, ITA is now expanding its offer to the freight market.

Who do you think will eventually take control of the ITA majority stake? Let us know in the comment below! 

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Giacomo Amati
Giacomo Amati
Aviation Reporter - Giacomo has been passionate about commercial aviation since his very childhood. Currently, he is pursuing a Master in Air Transport Management at the University of Surrey, UK. His expertise within the industry entails an internship with Emirates Airlines in Milan Malpensa airport and a bachelor's thesis on the financial status of the former Italian national carrier, Alitalia. Besides aviation, Giacomo loves foreign languages, German being his favourite one, and travelling.

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