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ITA-Lufthansa: "Brussels puts Southern Italy at risk"

Cancellation of 14 routes to and from Germany could fuel high flight prices

The changes requested by the European Competition Commission, led by Margrethe Vestager, to authorize the marriage between the national carrier ITA Airways and the German Lufthansa Group provide for a general downsizing of routes which according to some could isolate Southern Italy. This is due to the cancellation of 14 routes to and from Germany.

These are the medium-range flights that have come under the scrutiny of Brussels, which according to the technicians today are "direct-indirect overlaps" in which ITA and Lufthansa today "compete closely", but which after the marriage could partially undermine the competition: Bari-Frankfurt; Bari-Hamburg; Bari-Munich; Brindisi-Düsseldorf; Brindisi-Stuttgart; Cagliari-Munich; Catania-Frankfurt; Lamezia Terme-Zurich; Naples-Düsseldorf; Naples-Frankfurt; Naples-Stuttgart; Palermo-Frankfurt; Rome-Stuttgart; Naples-Hamburg.

Cuts that would reduce the presence of the two carriers on strategic routes, leaving the field free for low-cost airlines and marginalizing some areas of Southern Italy. What effect would all this have on the market? Competing airlines would raise fares on these 14 routes. A paradox, for those who want to defend the competition. In short, the sacrifice requested by the Vestager commission fuels a suspicion: Brussels wants to make the marriage fail.

"In Brussels there is someone who looks after the interests of the competition", was the reaction of the Italian Minister of Economy and Finance (MEF), Giancarlo Giorgetti. The head of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (MIT), Matteo Salvini, is of the same opinion, speaking of "yet another Euromadness". The position expressed by some German media is also clear, defining Europe as "capable only of producing mountains of rules that suffocate entrepreneurship".

On the topic, see also the article published by AVIONEWS.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency