By Vincenzo Claudio Piscopo
ITA Airways Reopens Data Room, But Only to Lufthansa
Italy’s Ministry of Economy re-opened ITA Airways’ Data Room to Lufthansa, but this time the Swiss group Mediterranean Shipping Company, better known as MSC (the world’s leading cargo line operator) won’t be among those authorized to check the Italian airline’s most confidential data.
In the past month, the Swiss and German groups were aiming to buy 100 percent of the airline, but despite the alternating governments — Draghi and Meloni — this solution has not always been preferred by the Italian state, which still wants to keep a minority share — around 20%.
In recent weeks, the Certares fund, which was willing to maintain a strong public presence in ITA Airways’ shareholding, seemed to be favored for this very reason. However, now everything again seems to point toward Lufthansa but given the latest changes at the top of the italian airline, we expect more twists and turns.
In recent days, the Italian flag carrier has signed all the planned commitments for fleet growth for 2023. Next year, 39 new generation aircraft will enter the fleet, including nine wide-body Airbus A330-900s and 30 narrow-body aircraft.
Fleet development will result in a 73% increase over 2022 in capacity in terms of seats offered per kilometer (Available Seat Kilometer – ASK) on the entire network, mainly due to the larger capacity on long-haul routes, registering growth of 107%. The entry of the new aircraft will allow the removal of older generation aircraft from the fleet, significantly lowering the average age of the fleet, as well as the resulting reduction of 1.3 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, according to airline data. Already by the end of 2023, the fleet will be 50% new generation, reaching a total of 96 aircraft.
New intercontinental destinations are scheduled to open in 2023 with direct flights operated from Rome Fiumicino to the U.S., with San Francisco and Washington, starting in the summer season, and from next November, new flights to South America, to Rio de Janeiro.
Moreover, with the entry of the A321neo, ITA Airways will plan new Middle Eastern destinations: Riyadh, Jeddah and Kuwait City, expanding its network and strengthening its connectivity through its Rome Fiumicino hub.
ITA Airways aims to be the greenest airline in Europe in 2026. This is a goal that can be achieved not only with a younger and more efficient fleet but also with other initiatives and collaborations.
ITA Airways was the first airline in Italy to use sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs). ENI, an Italian multinational company active in the field of energy production and commercialization, already produces SAFs, which is now the fastest mean to significantly contribute to the decarbonization of aviation.
A few days ago, together, the two Italian companies launched the “Joule Discovery Lab” project to increase the entrepreneurial skills of their employees to build a new model of sustainable development of the Italian industrial system. Within the Lab, projects will be presented to both ITA Airways and ENI management with the possibility of being “incubated” by the teams of the two companies through an acceleration path that will continue in the coming months.