Italy’s 75-year-old national airline, Alitalia, is officially closing and all the ticket bookings after 15 October are cancelled.Customers who pre-booked flights before 24 August still have options to exchange flights within respective routes for an earlier date and can even ask for a refund.
Alitalia, which was once known as Italy’s pride, who made all Pope travels possible across the globe went bankrupt back in 2017.The company couldn’t get suitable investors to revive and hence, the Italian government took matters into their hands and by 2020 they had full control of the company.
The company was unable to compete with other commercially large airlines and also faced heavy financial loss during the Covid pandemic.
A new airline named ITA(Italia Transporto Aereo) which will operate under the government is set to take its place. ITA will initially launch with 52 aircraft and will be adding more fleets till the end of the year.
The airline will be operating from Rome’s Fiumicino airport and Linate airport in Milan for 45 cities including numerous European cities, New York, Boston, Tokyo, and Miami. 2,800 out of the 10,000 staff who worked at Alitalia will be considered for jobs in the new airline.
ITA aims to have 105 aircraft by the year 2025. Alitalia’s brand, livery, and the majority of assets will be sold to the brand new airline, except the frequent flyer program.
Alitalia officials stated that they will handle the situation in a transparent manner and safeguard consumer issues. Alitalia tweeted and asked the customers to communicate with the airline for rebooking flight issues or for a refund request.
Although, there is no surety regarding Millemiglia air miles. As per the European Commission regulations, the ITA can’t buy the Millemiglia loyalty programme and will be given on tender.Customers remaining air miles might even be replaced with reward points at different stores.
It is unclear yet as to how the new airline will perform. Will it be better than Alitalia in terms of competing with other European airlines? ITA will have to arise as a profitable successor as the state will have to recover the previous airline’s loss.