Lufthansa Group gets green light to take major stake in ITA Airways

Los Angeles, California, USA - January 19th, 2008: A Lufthansa Airbus A340-300 takes off from Los Angeles International Airport.
Edited by Travel Weekly

    The European Commission has approved Lufthansa Group’s proposition to take a 41 per cent stake in ITA Airways following an investigation by EU antitrust regulators.

    The deal which was first announced in May last year will see Lufthansa pay 325 million Euro to take the remaining shares in 2025.

    Both Lufthansa and ITA have previously made concessions that the deal could increase ticket prices and decrease the quality of the service.

    Thanks to an agreement between the carriers that will transfer slots at Milan Linate Airport to a short-haul competitor and the possible introduction of new flights from competitors between Rome/Milan and certain EU hub airports, deal has now been given the green light from the EU Commission.

    “The package of remedies proposed by Lufthansa and the MEF [the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance] on this cross-border deal fully addresses our competition concerns by ensuring that a sufficient level of competitive pressure remains on all relevant routes,” European Commission executive VP Margrethe Vestager said.

    Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said the EU’s decision provides “a clear signal for strong air traffic in Europe, which can successfully assert itself in global competition.”

    In a statement, the airline group said it is now planning a “swift integration” of ITA Airways and its 5,000 employees, joining Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Swiss, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings in the Lufthansa Group.

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