Lufhansa Group would only be interested in taking over Alitalia if the Italian flag carrier is "restructured".
Speaking at the launch of Lufthansa mainline's new livery today, group chief executive Carsten Spohr said: "Alitalia is operating in our second-most important market. So Italy remains very interesting to us."
He cautions, however, that Lufthansa Group would not commit to a deal for part or all of Alitalia without fundamental changes to the structure of its business.
Loss-making Alitalia is currently in administration after employees rejected a rescue package last year. The carrier has long struggled to make meaningful changes to its strategy in the face of trade-union objections.
"[The need for restructuring] is why we are not moving at the moment. We are not taking any decisions," says Spohr.