Lufthansa eyes full control of Italy's ITA Airways

STORY: Lufthansa is taking a big stake in Italy’s ITA Airways - and says its final goal is full control.

On Thursday (May 25) the German carrier said it had agreed to take a 41% stake.

The move will cost it $358 million.

It comes after Lufthansa chief Carsten Spohr met Italy’s economy minister in Rome to finalise the deal.

Talks had begun in January, but ran past a late April deadline.

Spohr said it was a win-win for Italy, ITA and Lufthansa.

On Friday (May 26) he added that the plan was to eventually secure a full takeover.

ITA is the successor to loss-making Alitalia.

It took over in 2021, set up as a state-owned company.

Last year it posted a loss of around $521 million caused by rising fuel costs and the lingering effects of the global health crisis.

Efforts to sell a big stake in the airline have moved slowly, with some Italian politicians reluctant to part with a national icon.

ITA has set a goal to significantly increase its revenue, fleet and workforce by 2027.

Lufthansa shares fell around half a percent in early trades on Friday.