Saturday, 16 October 2021

Goodbye Alitalia - Hello ITA

Alitalia, the largest airline of Italy, took its last flight on Thursday evening before passing the baton to Italy's new national airline, ITA, which began operations on Friday. The final flight for Alitalia, AZ1586, from Rome (FCO/LIRF) to Cagliari (CAG/LIEE), brought to an end a 74-year history between Italy and the flag carrier. The final flight was carried out by one of their Airbus A320-216 aircraft, EI-DSV (MSN 3598)
It was a sad, bitter day for Alitalia employees, as most of whom will not be re-hired by ITA . The state-owned airline struggled with profitability but was always bailed out by the government. This financial support stopped in 2006 when the EU called an end to the practice, leaving the airline struggling. Over subsequent years Alitalia went through various failed investment deals as it attempted to cut costs, all in the face of looming bankruptcy and union strikes. Thursday was also an emotional day for many Italians who saw the now bankrupt airline and its iconic 'A' tail-wing logo as a symbol of national pride.

The Alitalia story began on the 16th September 1946, a year after the war, when Alitalia was established as Aerolinee Italiane Internazionali, funded by the Italian government and British European Airways (BEA) in a 60/40 share arrangement.

Alitalia was the flag carrier and largest airline of Italy. The company had its head office in Fiumicino, Rome. The airline was fully owned by the Government of Italy since the 17th March 2020. The airline launched operations on the 5th May 1947, with an inaugural flight from Turin Caselle (TRN/LIMF) to Catania (CTA/LICC) and Rome (FCO/LIRF).

The airline operated a fleet of Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Airbus A321, Airbus A330-200, and Boeing 777-200ER aircraft to over 34 scheduled domestic, European and intercontinental destinations. The airline operated from its main hub at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport. The airline was a full member of SkyTeam alliance and it has codeshare agreements with 42 airlines. 
 Alitalia soon expanded to countries around Europe, while its first flight intercontinental flights launched in 1948, between Milan and South America. On the 31st October 1957 Alitalia merged with Linee Aeree Italiane and took on the name of Alitalia – Linee Aeree Italiane.
In 2018, the airline was the twelfth-largest airline in Europe.

The airline has been in extraordinary administration since 2017 following years of not turning a profit. On the 24th August 2021, Alitalia announced that it will cease flights on the 14th October 2021, and that passengers with tickets for later flights may reschedule on an earlier flight or request a refund. On the 15th October 2021, its operations and assets were transferred to ITA Airways, a new state-owned flag carrier.

ITA Airways, Italia Trasporto Aereo, is the new state-owned flag carrier of Italy. It was founded on the 11th November 2020 and commenced operations on the 15th October 2021
The airline is fully owned by the Government of Italy via their Ministry of Economy and Finance. 
The airline has taken over the assets of the former Italian flag carrier, Alitalia. 

ITA Airways Logo.png

As of 15 October 2021, ITA Airways operates the following aircraft:

Airbus A220  22* TBA Delivery starts in 2022, 15 leased from Air Lease Corporation, while 7 purchased directly from Airbus.
Airbus A319-100 18^    Taken over from Alitalia.
Airbus A320-200 27^ — 36* Taken over from Alitalia.
Airbus A320neo 13* TBA Delivery starts in 2022, 2 leased from Air Lease Corporation and 11 purchased from Airbus.
Airbus A321neo  9* TBA Delivery starts in 2022, all 9 leased from Air Lease Corporation.
Airbus A330-200 7^ — 20*   Taken over from Alitalia.
Airbus A330neo — 15* TBA Delivery starts in 2022, 5 leased from Air Lease Corporation and 10 purchased directly from Airbus.
Airbus A350-900 — 8* TBA Delivery starts in 2022, all 8 leased from Air Lease Corporation.
Total in service 52^
Total on order 67*

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