Many of you will have seen the lengthy ITA Airways thread on our forum pages.

When ITA Airways announced it was joining Skyteam last month, it was assumed the airline would remain a member for years.

Indeed ITA has been offering a status match, for which some readers have already applied.

But in shock news Germany’s Handlesblatt (paywall) yesterday reported that ITA Airways has ambitions to join Lufthansa Group.

ITA Airways board member Alfredo Altavilla is quoted as saying the Skyteam arrangement has so far only been signed for a period of one year, adding that “We (ITA) are a pretty bachelorette who has many admirers”.

“We hope that Lufthansa will be one of those handsome and rich admirers who might be interested in ITA Airways.”

Readers will be aware that Lufthansa is a founder member of the rival Star Alliance.

Altavilla admires the Lufthansa business model and the way it has integrated its smaller members (smaller in relation to the Lufthansa core brand) in recent years.

Certainly it would be a good fit. Some fussy Italian travellers have shunned Alitalia over the years to fly long-haul flights via the Lufthansa hubs.

This especially applies in the North where a backtrack to Rome may be necessary to fly long-haul with the Italian national airline.

The full piece can be read on, and we await developments with interest.