The Lufthansa Group has submitted an offer letter expressing interest in establishing a “new Alitalia,” only days after the German flag carrier signed a €210 million ($249 million) deal to take over a large part of bankrupt airberlin’s assets, including NIKI and regional carrier LGW.
Alitalia entered the Italian equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in May after staff blocked a deal that would have allowed a fresh injection of funds from shareholders.
Lufthansa said in an Oct. 16 statement it is only interested in parts of the Italian airline’s global network traffic and European and domestic point-to-point business, rather than the entire carrier.
The offer includes a concept for a newly structured Alitalia with a focused business model, which could develop long-term economic prospects. The details of the offer remain confidential.
Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported Oct. 16 that Lufthansa is eyeing a €500 million investment in parts of Alitalia.
“Italy is an interesting market for Lufthansa,” a Lufthansa spokesperson told ATW.
The deadline for interested parties to make binding offers for the Italian flag carrier ends Oct. 16.
According to the newspaper, 6,000 Alitalia jobs could be eliminated, in addition to a reduction of its short- and medium-haul routes.
In order to ensure flight operations, the Italian Cabinet decided Oct. 13 to extend the term of the bridge loan for the insolvent airline from November this year to September 2018. The deadline for the final closing of the sales process has also been postponed; everything should be covered by the end of April 2018, according to the Austrian TV channel ORF.
On Oct. 12, Alitalia CCO Fabio Maria Lazzerini announced that, starting with winter schedule Oct. 29, the SkyTeam member will launch new services to Delhi (India) and Male (Maldives).
“During summer 2017, we operated regularly and in a reliable manner. This is also proved by the fact the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) restored permanent air carrier operating license for Alitalia,” Lazzerini said in a statement.