Lufthansa Group chief executive Carsten Spohr is confident a deal can be reached on taking an ITA Airways stake before an exclusivity period ends, but says the latter’s valuation must reflect its newly announced full-year loss.
Speaking in Brussels during the Airlines for Europe (A4E) Aviation Summit on 29 March, Spohr said recent talks with the Italian government and ITA “have confirmed our conviction that a turnaround is possible [for ITA], once we have integrated it into Lufthansa Group”.
But he describes ITA’s valuation as “an open issue” in the talks, noting that the Italian carrier “has lost money – a lot of money”.
“That needs to be reflected in the valuation,” Spohr says. ”That is the final part of the discussion we have.”
ITA Airways said on 28 March that it made a full-year net loss of €486 million ($528 million) in 2022.
Noting that he is meeting the Italian government on 30 March, the Lufthansa chief says he is still “very positive we will have an agreement” before the end of the exclusivity period on 24 April.
“We are not hours away from the solution, we are weeks away from a solution,” he states.