Lufthansa takeover of Italy’s ITA cleared by Brussels – DW – 07/03/2024 | EUROtoday

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The European Commission on Wednesday stated it authorised German nationwide service Lufthansa’s plans to accumulate joint management of Italy’s ITA Airways for €325 million ($349.6 million).

“The approval is conditional upon full compliance with the remedies offered by Lufthansa” in addition to by the Italian Economy and Finance Ministry, the Commission stated in a press release.

“Whilst ITA is performing well today, ITA’s long-term sustainability as a stand-alone carrier would have remained highly uncertain absent the transaction,” the Commission added.

Competition issues assessed

Margrethe Vestager, the Commission’s govt vice-president answerable for competitors coverage, stated issues over whether or not the acquisition would negatively have an effect on competitors had been addressed by Lufthansa and Italian officers.

The different for connections between Italy and the profitable central European area was solely restricted competitors from Ryanair, the Commission stated.

To ease EU regulators’ issues, Lufthansa and the Italian authorities agreed to facilitate the operation of short-haul flights by rival airways to Central Europe and share touchdown slots at Milan airport to cut back Lufthansa’s potential domination.

“The bundle of treatments proposed by Lufthansa and the MEF on this cross-border deal absolutely addresses our competitors issues by making certain {that a} adequate stage of aggressive stress stays on all related routes, Vestager stated.

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, stated in a press release: “The approval from Brussels is excellent news for ITA Airways and Lufthansa and especially for all passengers flying to and from Italy.”

“The decision is also a clear signal for strong air traffic in Europe, which can successfully assert itself in global competition,” Spohr went on to say.

Italy’s financial system minister welcomes transfer

“This positive conclusion is truly a success,” Italy’s Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti advised a press convention in Rome. “It is a big Italian success, it is a big German success, it is a big European success.”

ITA was shaped in 2020 following the restructuring of failed nationwide service Alitalia. Last May, Lufthansa agreed to a minority stake of 41% of ITA with the Italian authorities.

Under sure circumstances, the German service will then purchase a further 49% of ITA shares ranging from 2025. It may acquire management of the remaining 10% at a later date

kb/sms (dpa, AFP)