MILAN (AP) — German airline Lufthansa said it submitted an offer Wednesday for a minority stake in Italy’s ITA Airways Spa, formerly Alitalia.
The Italian finance ministry said in a statement that the Lufthansa offer was the only one submitted by Wednesday’s deadline.
No financial terms were disclosed. Lufthansa said it would have the option to buy remaining shares at a later date.
ITA Airlines, and before it Alitalia, has been looking for an industrial partner as its domestic business has suffered under competition from low-cost airlines. Other offers have fallen by the wayside.
ITA officially launched in October 2021 after bankrupt flag carrier Alitalia landed its final flight, ending a 74-year business history with a series of inglorious deals that never managed to restore the carrier to health.
Already, Lufthansa operates Air Dolomiti in northern Italy, which funnels long distance traffic from airports such as Milan’s Malpensa, Verona’s Valerio Catullo and Venice’s Marco Polo to connections in Munich and Frankfurt.
“For Lufthansa Group, Italy is the most important market outside of its home markets and the U.S.,” Lufthansa said in a statement. ”Italy’s importance for both business and private travel lies in its strong export-oriented economy and status as one of Europe’s top vacation spots.”