The Italian Government has agreed to extend exclusive talks with Lufthansa over the sale of ITA Airway until 12 May, according to local news reports, after a difference of "a few million euro" has stalled the deal, which was due to close on 24 April.
According to Italy’s il Corriere della Sera newspaper, the Italian Treasury and German airline group are still refining details of the agreement, however key ‘pillars’ of the agreement – including Lufthansa’s initial 40 per cent stake in the carrier and the value of the remaining share – have been agreed.
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr earlier this month told journalists the carrier’s assessment represents "the last real hurdle in the discussion" after its 2022 financials revealed a loss of approximately €486 million.
The carrier, which replaced legacy brand Alitalia in 2021, said in a statement the results were "consistent with the company's 'start-up' phase" and reflected a "complex market" affected by rising fuel costs and the lingering effects of the pandemic. Nevertheless, the airline said it expects "substantial growth" in revenues for the next 12 months, driven by network expansion and a growing fleet.
ITA Airway president Antonino Turicchi is reportedly keen to see deal the closed, according to il Corriere, in order to seek approval from the EU’s competition authority, which is currently investigating IAG’s revived bid to purchase Air Europa as well as Korean Air’s acquisition of Asiana by Korean Air, which affects flights on the Rome Fiumicino-Seoul route.