Alitalia, which has been in bankruptcy since 2017, will be finally replaced by Italia Trasporto Aereo, Italy's national airline. Although I am not sure what to expect from the new airline it is a significant milestone.
Alitalia will stop selling tickets
Alitalia has announced that it will cease selling tickets for flights from October 15, 2021. As of August 25, tickets for travel to that date will be pulled. Alitalia is now hours away from announcing the end of ticket sales that are more than a few weeks in advance.
Customers who purchased Alitalia tickets on or before August 24th, as well as those traveling on or after October 15th, can receive a full refund or request a rebooking with a different airline (though logistics may be difficult).
Alitalia will be closing its doors on October 15, 2012.
What will Italy's new national airline look and feel like?
Although there has been much talk about Alitalia's replacement, Italia Trasporto Aereo(ITA), it is still unclear to me what we can expect from this airline. According to my understanding,:
Over the next few years, ITA will be receiving a capital injection well in excess of a billion euros
Part of Alitalia's assets will be purchased by ITA, but Alitalia won't purchase Alitalias frequent fleer program (rather, a new one) - this is not because Alitalia is trying screw customers but because the European Commission has refused to allow Alitalia to take part in the open tender for Alitalias frequent flying program.
ITA will slowly grow. It will initially have a fleet consisting of 52 planes, including seven long-haul planes. In 2022, it will have 78 planes. By 2025, the airline will have 105 planes.
ITA will not be able to get 85% of the Alitalias slot at Milans Linate Airport, (MXP), and 43% at Romes Fiumicino Airport(FCO).
ITA will have less than 3,000 employees at first, but that number will increase to 8,600 by 2022. Alitalia employed approximately 10,000 people until recently.
There was talk that ITA might buy new planes. However, it is anyone's guess how that will play out and it doesn't appear to be on the cards immediately.
I'm not sure that the taxpayers or the Italian government are actually winning in this case. Alitalia was a disaster, and the fact that it had to hand over so many slots at Italy's largest airports to other airlines will make it harder for the new airline.
As Alitalia will stop selling tickets tomorrow, it looks like ITA's new website will be online soon. I am curious to see how that looks, and hopefully get more insight into what we can expect from the airline.
ITA could buy assets from Alitalia
Although it is hard to believe, Alitalia will cease operations in October. The airline will be replaced with ITA, a national carrier. This plan is fully approved. All Alitalia flights beyond October 15th should be removed from the reservation system in the next hour.
Although we know the general plan for ITA, details of the specifics are still being worked on, considering the process the national airline must go through in order to purchase some assets from Alitalia.
Can you believe Alitalia will be gone, at least in paper? It's true!