18 OCTOBER 2021


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Article from BTNews 18 OCTOBER 2021

Alitalia grounded *

After 75 years Alitalia has last Thursday (14 October) finally been grounded and replaced on Friday by Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA).

ITA’s maiden flight was from Milan to Bari. The new carrier, in which the government will invest €1.35bn over three years, will start with 52 jets and 2,800 employees, compared with around 110 aircraft and a workforce of 10,000 for Alitalia.

Under a deal with the European Commission, ITA will be economically independent and will not be liable for any illegal state aid received by Alitalia in recent years.

The new carrier will also have to be profitable by the end of its 2021-25 business plan and, according to chair Alfredo Altavilla, will be on the hunt for a deal with a larger airline before the end of 2022 because it is too small to stand alone. CEO is Fabio Lazzerini, formerly Chief Business Officer at Alitalia, and from 2013 until 2017 Director General of Emirates Italia.

“ITA will start holding talks to reach a deal [with another player] from next week, aiming to complete it by 2022,” said Altavilla on Friday.

Earlier this month US airline Delta’s Chief Executive, Ed Bastian, said that he was in discussions with ITA about possible joint ventures.

ITA will initially serve 44 destinations, set to rise to 75 by 2025. In addition to European central airport hubs such as  Heathrow and Paris Charles De Gaulle, the carrier will also serve a dozen Italian cities. The airline has also begun selling tickets for transatlantic destinations in the US.


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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

Michael Davis, Geneva

The Belgians are great chocolate makers but this smells more like Brussels Fudge as usual. No state aid, just 1.35 billion Euros from a magic money tree? No unfair competition? Of course not . Come on Michael O’Leary, let us hear your thoughts ! (If printable)

Jerome Klaus, Paris

How long before ITA comes back for more money?