The Italian Government has designed an ad hoc Ministerial Decree (Dpcm in Italian) for the privatisation of the NewCo ITA Airways. Meanwhile, the Italian national carrier continues to lure influential airline groups and other corporations. Let’s see what the future of the airline might look like.

AAA Partner wanted

The new Dpcm aims at finding a new partner for the Italian carrier. According to the decree, the privatisation of the airline will follow the standard pattern: a public purchase offer or a direct sale. Moreover, the Italian Government sets the condition that, at least in a first step, the Ministry of Economics and Finance (MEF) will continue to hold a minority stake in the airline.

The interested groups and corporations are willing to access the so-called data room to access all sensitive information related to the airline. For the time being, the Italian Government has received a formal interest from the naval shipping company MSC, whose founder and president is the Italian shipowner Gianluigi Aponte. However, no formal request to access the room has been presented by the German aviation group, Lufthansa. Indeed, the MSC Group has suggested the German Group should act as a commercial partner in an initial phase, which means Lufthansa would not take over any shares of ITA.

LH A320neo moments after taking off. @ Marco Macca / Travel Radar
LH A320neo moments after taking off. @ Marco Macca / Travel Radar

A new “admirer” for ITA

In the meantime, ITA has attracted the interest of another major airline group, Delta Air Lines, which already showed interest in the former Italian national carrier back in 2019, when it offered to take over 10% of the former Alitalia. Delta already relies on commercial and code-share agreements with ITA. Furthermore, they are both members of the SkyTeam Alliance. Such agreements are also shared with the Air France-KLM Group, of which Delta is a shareholder. Back in January, Delta and the AF-KLM Group were not interested in entering the capital stock of ITA but in fostering the commercial agreements they already had with Alitalia instead. Nonetheless, with the possibility of Lufthansa becoming a commercial partner of ITA, they seem to have changed their minds.

If Delta was to present to the Italian Government a formal interest in ITA, the time required for the privatisation process could be extended. However, Lufthansa told the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore that the Group is not interested in buying ITA shares at the moment. Still, it could act as a commercial partner only, as indicated by the MSC Group. It is said that the German corporation could become a shareholder after 18 months of establishing a partnership if ITA were profitable.

A never-ending story

As it was in the past, the fight for ITA, the NewCo born from the ashes of the old Alitalia, could concern the European Groups Air France-KLM and Lufthansa. However, this time, the war would be fought through two new subjects, the MSC and Delta Groups.

KLM A330 moments before landing. @ Luke Sobiechowski / Travel Radar
KLM A330 moments before landing. @ Luke Sobiechowski / Travel Radar

Who do you think will buy ITA shares in the end? Let us know in the comment below! 

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