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ITA-Lufthansa: the crux of European routes

Brussels is trying to understand whether the merger will generate monopolies in air transport

A decisive phase has begun for the future of the national carrier ITA Airways. The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) has officially sent to Brussels the documents of the negotiation with the German aviation group Lufthansa for the privatization of the Italian company. The European Competition Commission will have 25 working days to respond to the notification, that is by 15 January 2024.

There are five issues in the negotiation that Brussels technicians will examine before giving the green light to the agreement: air connections in European skies, some intercontinental flights, cargo transport, maintenance services, ground operations at airports. On these issues, Rome and Berlin hope to see the European green light without moving to 'phase 2', which would require another 90 days of analysis of the agreement by Brussels.

The European Competition Commission will try to understand whether the merger could generate monopolies in various areas of the European air transport market. For example, on the Milan-Brussels route 95% of flights are in the hands of the two airlines, so Lufthansa and ITA will have to cede some airport slots, as in Rome. Routes to America, Africa and Asia are also being examined. Meanwhile, rival airlines are sharpening their claws.

On the topic, see also the article published by AVIONEWS.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency