Italy’s ITA Airways Joins SkyTeam Alliance

SkyTeam now has a new airline member, which I suppose isn't surprising.
ITA Airways has become a SkyTeam member

Today, ITA Airways officially joined SkyTeam. ITA Airways, Italy's new national airline has replaced Alitalia. It is basically a smaller version Alitalia, with a clean balance. It is not surprising that ITA Airways joined SkyTeam since Alitalia was once a member.

SkyTeam is one the three major global alliances. It has member airlines like Aeroflot and Air France, China Eastern and Delta, Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines, among others.

SkyTeam joining ITA Airways could have interesting implications for those who take advantage of the ITA Volare program status match campaign. SkyTeam does not have as many reciprocal perks as Star Alliance or oneworld.

Walter Cho, Chairman of SkyTeam had these words to say:

SkyTeams European network has had the Italian market as a core component for over 20 years. No other alliance connects Italy more closely to the rest of the world than SkyTeams. We welcome ITA Airways' decision to join SkyTeam and provide continuity of service to the millions of SkyTeam customers. SkyTeam and its members look forward working with ITA Airways in order to create long-term partnerships.

Alfredo Altavilla was Chairman of ITA Airways.

SkyTeam membership is an easy step that will allow us to provide seamless experiences and a global network to customers flying to and fro Italy. Our SkyTeam partners look forward to a close collaboration to support the launch of our company, which is the Italian flag carrier.

SkyTeam has been joined by ITA Airways

SkyTeam is the best choice for ITA Airways.

It's not surprising that ITA Airways joined the SkyTeam alliance.

The belief that government-owned and new global airlines need to join a global alliance is what makes them successful seems to be shared by other global airlines, including those owned by governments. This was evidently a priority for ITA.

SkyTeam was the carrier's predecessor, so it is the obvious alliance that ITA should join.

Although I am not surprised by this, I cannot help but wonder if ITA would have been a better fit to oneworld.

SkyTeams most powerful and largest member airline is Delta. The airline does not care about the alliance and is instead focused solely on strategic partnerships. Delta doesn't encourage SkyTeam members to join SkyTeam when it invests in other airlines, like LATAM or Virgin Atlantic.

Alitalia was kicked out the SkyTeam transatlantic joint enterprise, because the priority was to have a single joint endeavor with Air France Delta, KLM and Virgin Atlantic. ITA therefore has very little upside for transatlantic flights with SkyTeam membership. However, it is not easy to add an airline to a transatlantic jointly venture.

ITA Airways joining oneworld is a far-fetched idea, even if it seemed like a better fit.

SkyTeam is my weakest global alliance.

Bottom line

ITA Airways joined SkyTeam, which is great news. It will be able redeem and earn miles on ITA Airways via SkyTeam partners and enjoy reciprocal elite perks.

Personally, I would prefer to see ITA Airways join Oneworld (especially since the alliance is looking to grow aggressively), however I am not surprised to see ITA just rejoin the alliance Alitalia was in.

What do you think of ITA Airways joining SkyTeam?