FRANKFURT, GERMANY — Lufthansa Group is moving forward with its plans to enter the Italian market by submitting a binding offer to the Italian Ministry of Finance on Wednesday.

The Frankfurt-based airline company is seeking to secure a 40% stake in Italian airline ITA Airways, and also has plans to invest around 300 million euros in the company in exchange for operational control to restructure the struggling airline.

According to reports, ITA is currently losing between 1 and 1.5 million euros per day. Lufthansa is also said to have secured an exit clause and call option for additional shares in the future. The final investment and shareholder agreement are expected to be reached this summer.

The move by Lufthansa is part of a larger strategy to expand its presence in the Italian market and establish Rome as a new hub for the company. However, the acquisition of ITA is not without risks, as the airline has yet to turn a profit. The restructuring plan proposed by Lufthansa will be crucial in determining the future success of the company. 

ITA Airways is Italy's new flag carrier and the successor of the bankrupt Alitalia. The airline is fully owned by the Government of Italy via the Ministry of Economy and Finance. It began operations on Oct. 15, 2021. The carrier operates an all-Airbus fleet, including 17 A319s, 31 A320s, 8 A330s, and 4 A220-300s.