Issue No. 877

ITA Airways Spoils

Air France-KLM and Delta Emerge Victors in Italy

Pushing Back: Inside the Issue

European consolidation got a leg up last week, but not in the way many expected. Italian authorities named the offer from private equity firm Certares with Air France-KLM and Delta as their preferred bidder for ITA Airways instead of frontrunner the Lufthansa Group. The reason, few will be surprised to know, was in the politics of it; Italy, it turns out, wanted to greater say in the future of ITA than Lufthansa and its partner shipping giant MSC were willing to give them. The deal isn't done yet but the move is set to give Air France, Delta, and KLM a strategic stake in the key Italian market, Europe's fourth largest.

Speaking of privatization, Sri Lanka is looking to offload the majority of its namesake airline to stem its losses amid a broad economic crisis. And in South America, Latam Airlines is more optimistic about the future than it was a year ago with a new business plan outlining a strong recovery by year-end, and profits — maybe — next year. The bullish outlook is helped, no less, by the carrier's imminent exit from its U.S. Chapter 11 restructuring and the consummation of its joint venture with Delta.

And, even as the airline industry broadly looks optimistically to the fall and winter — recession? What recession? — the pandemic's impact is still obvious. China's Big 3 lost billions of dollars in the first half of the year with little prospect of profits given the country's zero-Covid policy. And Lufthansa's pilots struck over pay on September 2, that latest in post-Covid recovery labor actions.

Airline Weekly Lounge Podcast

What does post-pandemic life like for a destination carrier like Hawaiian Airlines? CEO Peter Ingram joins Edward Russell to discuss the airline’s recovery and outlook, including the long-awaited reopening of Japan. Plus, what Hawaiian might do with the new Boeing 787s that arrive soon. Listen to this week’s episode to find out. A full archive of the 'Lounge is here.

Weekly Skies

The Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance last week entered “exclusive negotiations” with private equity firm Certares, as well as Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines, in the privatization of state-owned ITA Airways. ITA replaced ailing Alitalia in October 2021. The ministry said…


Lufthansa took delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 on August 29. The aircraft, registration D-ABPA, flew from Paine Field near Seattle to Frankfurt where it will prepare for an entry-into-service on domestic German routes in October, and on flights between…

Routes and Networks

Finnair is an airline in search of a new strategic direction. Enter partner Qatar Airways.

By the Numbers

Among these airlines, Contract negotiations are underway or about to begin at Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, Mesa, Southwest, Spirit, and United.