Italian state-owner carrier, ITA Airways, has announced a net loss of $598 million in 2022 despite revenues of $1.9 billion.
According to the airline it operated around 97,000 scheduled flights during the year and carried around 10.1 million passengers, an increase from 1.3 million in 2021.
ITA Airways said the results for the year are “consistent with the ‘start-up’ phase of the company”.
Revenues were hampered in the first few months due to the pandemic and results were “significantly impacted” by the subsequent increase in the cost of fuel the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
In 2023 the airline expects “further substantial growth” driven by an expansion of the fleet allowing the carrier to fly to more destinations.
Lufthansa and the Italian government are currently in negotiations for the German carrier to take a forty percent stake in ITA.
Born out of the ashes of Alitalia, ITA Airways was established in October 2021, when the then-Italian government agreed to a deal with the European Commission (EC) that would allow it to invest up to €1.35 billion ($1.46 billion).
In November 2022, the total investment sum had already reached more than €1.1 billion ($1.1 billion), leaving little room for the government to help the airline stay afloat financially.
The estimated value of ITA Airways was rumored to be between €450 and €480 million ($488 and $520 million), per local media reports, which also indicated that the Italian government was looking to sign a MoU with Lufthansa to progress the deal.
Furthermore, in late December 2022, local lawmakers passed a ruling that would allow interested parties to initially put forward a bid for a minority stake in ITA Airways and that only airline groups would be able to bid for the ailing Italian flag carrier.