German airline Lufthansa is reportedly planning to acquire a 40% stake in ITA Airways, the state-owned flag carrier of Italy.

Citing two people familiar with the development, The Irish Times reported that talks between the two airlines are ongoing.

One of the persons said that Lufthansa and ITA are discussing the price for a 40% stake while the other person familiar with the development stated that the finalisation of the deal is expected to take more than a few days.

However, Italian daily Il Foglio reported that the deal could be unveiled by the companies in the next week.

A Lufthansa spokesperson did not comment on the news but further stressed that the German carrier is open to an alliance with ITA Airways.

Without disclosing the name of Lufthansa, an ITA spokesperson told Reuters that the company will present a strategic plan to the board later this month.

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Earlier this month, Reuters reported that ITA was in touch with other airlines including Lufthansa, British Airways and Delta Air Lines for an equity partnership.

Recently, US-based Delta Air Lines revealed that it is not planning to make any investment in the Italian airline company.

Meanwhile, in a separate development last month, ITA Airways entered a codeshare pact with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.