NEW DELHI, INDIA — An executive from Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) announced on Thursday that the German airline is optimistic about finalizing a partial acquisition of Italy's state-owned ITA Airways within the coming days.

The negotiations with the Italian government have been described as "very good." Both airlines have agreed on a cooperative strategy to increase their market share, according to Harry Hohmeister, head of global markets and network at Lufthansa Group Airlines, who spoke at a press conference in New Delhi to announce new flights to India.

Hohmeister revealed that Lufthansa would likely begin with a minority share, with the rest of the details still under negotiation. He expressed hope for a decision in the following days. Last week, ITA's chairman stated that the main components of the deal had been worked out and that an announcement was expected soon.

Previous reports have indicated that Lufthansa is in talks with Rome to acquire a 40% stake in ITA, valued at approximately €200 million ($218.82 million), with plans to purchase the remaining shares later. Hohmeister emphasized that successful airline partnerships rely on effective collaboration in sales, capacity management, network design, and pricing. He expressed confidence that the partnership would ultimately result in increased market share.

The ITA deal is anticipated to bolster Lufthansa's presence in the rapidly growing Indian aviation market, where the German airline is expanding as air travel rebounds strongly. Italy is a sought-after destination for Indian tourists, and ITA already operates some nonstop flights between Italy and India.

On Thursday, Lufthansa announced plans to launch flights between Germany and the southern Indian cities of Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The airline's expansion in India comes as Tata Group-owned Air India pursues aggressive growth through non-stop flights to Europe and the U.S., while budget carrier IndiGo (INGL.NS) broadens its global network via codeshare partner Turkish Airlines.

Hohmeister acknowledged the importance of India's growing aviation market but noted that competition from Middle Eastern carriers poses a more significant challenge.