The German airline Lufthansa has announced it is putting a toe into Italy’s market, by launching its own Italian carrier.
Lufthansa-Italia will be based at Malpensa airport in Milan, and plans to fly to eight European destinations, including Charles de Gaulle in Paris and London’s Heathrow from early next year.
The German carrier is still vying with Air France-KLM to strike up an alliance with the bankrupt Italian national airline Alitalia, and says Lufthansa-Italia does not mean it is closing the door on such a link-up.
The airline picked as foreign partner is expected to buy a 20 per cent stake in Alitalia, though Lufthansa says the price or size of stake has not been discussed.
Alitalia slashed its operations at Malpensa to cut costs, and the airport’s management have been keen to protect jobs there.