ITA Airlines reported a net loss of $598 million in 2022 despite $1.9 billion in revenues.
The airline claims that during the course of the year, it operated about 97,000 regularly scheduled flights and transported almost 10.1 million passengers, up from 1.3 million in 2021.
ITA Airways said the results for the year are “consistent with the ‘start-up’ phase of the company”.
The pandemic slowed sales in the early going, and the subsequent rise in fuel prices brought on by the commencement of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict had a “major impact” on profits.
The airline predicts “additional strong growth” in 2023, powered by a growing fleet that will enable it to fly to more locations.
The Italian government and Lufthansa are now negotiating for the German airline to acquire a 40% interest in ITA.
After the Italian government at the time agreed to a contract with the European Commission (EC) allowing it to invest up to €1.35 billion ($1.46 billion), ITA Airlines was born from the ashes of Alitalia in October 2021.
The total amount invested by November 2022 had already exceeded €1.1 billion ($1.1 billion), leaving little room for the government to provide financial support for the airline.
According to local media reports, ITA Airlines was supposed to be worth between €450 and €480 million ($488 and $520 million), and the Italian government was reportedly looking to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Lufthansa to advance the sale.
Also, local lawmakers passed a bill in late December 2022 allowing interested parties to initially submit an offer for a minority stake in ITA Airlines and stipulating that only airline groups would be permitted to submit a bid for the troubled Italian flag carrier.