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Lufthansa‘s largest shareholder, Klaus-Michael Kühne, wants to increase his stake following talks with the airline’s management, according to a statement by his Kühne Holding AG.

“Our interest in Deutsche Lufthansa AG is unbroken,” said the 85-year-old billionaire, indicating his intention to “acquire further shares when opportunities arise”. This followed a “constructive discussion” recently with Lufthansa Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr and Chairman Karl-Ludwig Kley.

Kühne already holds 15.01% in the German carrier, making him the largest single shareholder.

The statement is a volte-face on comments he only made last month to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung when he declared he was not planning to increase his stake beyond 15% nor take over the German’s federal government’s remaining share of around 10%. “In principle, I would be interested, but such an increase is not up for discussion,” he said last month, explaining this would give him a vetoing minority of 25%, which was politically unfeasible. Berlin must sell its Lufthansa stake acquired during the pandemic by 2023 at the latest.

Germany’s competition watchdog (Bundeskartellamt) in August 2022…

Rome chooses Certares for exclusive ITA Airways talks

Italy will begin exclusive negotiations for the privatisation of ITA Airways (AZ, Rome Fiumicino) with a consortium consisting of the New York private equity fund Certares, Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson), and Air France-KLM, the Ministry of Economy and Finance announced in a statement on August 31.

The group’s offer, details of which – including the precise roles of the US, French, and Dutch carriers – have not been released, was considered superior to that presented by Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int’l) and shipping giant MSC.

The ministry said in its brief statement that “following a procedure governed by the Prime Minister’s Decree of 11 February 2022 and aimed at the sale of control of ITA SpA, an exclusive negotiation will be started today with the consortium formed by Certares Management LLC, Delta Airlines Inc. and Air France-KLM SA, whose offer was deemed more in line with the objectives” set by the decree.

It added: “At the conclusion of the exclusive negotiation, binding agreements will be signed only if…

Lufthansa takes delivery of its first B787-9

Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int’l) took delivery of the first of its 32 firm-ordered B787-9s on August 29, 2022.

The three-year-old D-ABPA (msn 62730) was ferried directly from Everett to Frankfurt Int’l over the course of August 29-30, Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows. The aircraft is the first of five whitetail B787-9s opportunistically signed by Lufthansa in May 2021. While the jets were originally scheduled for hand-over last year, the extended suspension of all B787 deliveries due to manufacturing issues precluded that.

Lufthansa has yet to file any B787 schedules and has not announced any service entry plans to date.

Lufthansa Group ordered thirty-two B787-9s in three batches: the first 25 were ordered in 2019, the subsequent seven were picked up as whitetails, and the final five were ordered in May 2022. While the first five whitetails will be operated by Lufthansa, the group has not disclosed the allocation of the remaining 27 units as yet.

This content was originally published here.