Air Italy Announces Liquidation And Suspension Of Operations

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Air Italy has announced that it will suspend operations from the 25th of February. The Italian carrier will be liquidated following a meeting of shareholders today. Qatar Airways is a key shareholder in the airline, owning 49%.

Air Italy A330
Air Italy has announced it will suspend operations and be liquidated. Photo: Air Italy

Earlier today many publications were reporting the possibility of liquidation. These were clearly well informed as the airline has officially announced that it will not operate after the 25th of February. Those with bookings beyond this date will be refunded, with flights operating as normal up until and including the 25th of February, albeit by other carriers.

What has Air Italy said?

Air Italy has officially announced that it has decided on “liquidazione in bonis” of the company. A rough translation of this phrase means “performing liquidation”. The airline has announced that flights will operate as normal until the 25th of February, albeit with other carriers. No flights will be operated from the 26th of February onwards.

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Air Italy, Liquidation, Flights Suspended
The Italian airline had a number of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on order. Photo: Getty Images

Passengers due to fly before this date and return afterward can keep their outbound flight, or apply for a refund of any unused flight segments. All flights after the 26th of February will be refunded upon request. If you have a booking with Air Italy and want to find out what to do, please visit their website at www.airitaly.com.

What does Qatar think?

Qatar Airways issued a statement regarding Air Italy’s insolvency proceedings. The airline said that it “was ready once again to play its part in supporting the growth of the airline”. However, this would “only have been possible with the commitment of all shareholders”. As such, it seems that not everybody was on board with the idea of rescuing the carrier.

Air Italy, Liquidation, Flights Suspended
Qatar Airways was ready to continue to support the Italian airline. Photo: Getty Images

The Qatari airline additionally mentioned “the changing competitive environment and the increasingly difficult market conditions severely impacting the air transport industry” in its statement. In fact, due to the challenging market conditions, there have been a number of high profile airline casualties in the past couple of years, including the likes of Thomas Cook in the United Kingdom.

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A bit more about Air Italy

Air Italy was founded in its current form just under two years ago on the 1st of March 2018. Before then it had been founded as Alisarda in 1963, before being renamed Meridiana in 1991.

According to Planespotters.net, the airline currently has a fleet of 12 aircraft. Four Airbus A330s and eight Boeing 737s. This number of 737s is realistically only five, however, as three are the grounded Boeing 737 MAX. Air Italy had been expecting more of the aircraft when it was grounded. Its four Airbus A330s had come from Qatar Airways and were flying to destinations, including to the United States.

Do you have flights booked with Air Italy? What do you make of the airline’s liquidation announcement? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Aaflyer123

Wow!!! A big shock!

Mark

“Liquidazione in bonis” means that all the creditors will be refunded. For ex. employees, suppliers, customers for tickets sold but not used, etc.

AK350

Whoever owned the other 51% didn’t want to invest any more in the airline

Antonio

Air Italy owned only Boeing 737 MAX 8s as narrow-body aircraft. I think the MAX's crisis played a role as well here…

AK350

Why are all these European airlines collapsing/in financial troubles?

Michael Bellamy

Why is it that any Airline Qatar Airway touch , goes under ? , there like the kiss of death if they invest in you. Any Airline should run a mile if they want to invest in you !

Martyn

I believe it's A330's are leased from Qatar so 1 x 737-700 4 x 737-800 3 x Max 8 which are grounded and 17 more on order.

Gerry S

Another one bites the dust!

Dru

@Antonio,thats true. Also Corona Virus is crippling businesses financially. I work for a leading Telecoms company and we aren’t able to get iPhones and Huawei devices due to the outbreak

Frank

There goes another order for 20 Max’s out the window for Boeing. They have 3 in their fleet already, but more losses at this point is not a good thing.

Anonymous

That’s a shame never flown with them however I really liked their livery

Dominic Yeo

Qatar was arrogant to think it could buy influence in oneworld. They never did. Nearly no members serve Doha. They’ll probably be kicked out of oneworld, now with Gulf AIr and Bahrain, and oneworld’s partnership with Emirates.

Allen Peter

Qatar Airway Was using them to get around flying from Italy to the USA good riddens to them .

Joseph

It’s ironic Alitalia lasted longer.

Daniel Pemble

Oh my, more very sad news in commercial aviation! It just so happens that I was the on-site Douglas Aircraft Co. Field Rep. assigned to Alisarda/Meridiana from Dec/1987-Feb/1992 at their home base in Olbia, Italy. I was honored for the opportunity to be with them to participate in their 25-year anniversary celebration! As A tribute to this very unique airline, I assembled a historical article for publication in the Douglas Service magazine. During my time with this airline, they very successfully operated and maintained six DC-9-51s and eight MD-82s and had over 1000 Olbia-based employees. As always, I have a lasting interest in keeping abreast with events surrounding all the world-wide airlines I have supported during my 31 years in field service. So, I was very much aware of Qatar’s takeover of the former Alisarda/Meridiana operation and the formation of Air Italy and implementation of Qatar’s policies. Sadly, the initial Qatar takeover resulted in 100’s of job losses in Olbia and even a questionable future for the survivors! Just today, February 13, my very special friend, the now-retired and former Alisarda/Meridiana DC-9 Chief pilot, provided me the devastating news that Air Italy is to be liquidated and be completely out of business on February 25. Such sad news indeed and now the question remains, can anything positive emerge from the Air Italy ashes in Olbia? For sure there is a cadre of aviation professionals remaining in Olbia!

Unfortunately, in my career I have seen the demise of several airlines that I have supported; such demise has been in spite of collective-dedicated-mutual -support efforts by everyone to do everything and anything possible in their power to assure the continuing success of the airline! And then it is extremely disheartening after an airline’s demise; this because it seems that all collective efforts expended by everyone involved in trying to assure the on-going success of the airline were all for nothing! As we all eventually learn, hard work and professional dedication to the tasks at hand are one thing, but “bean counting” (profit making) shall always prevail!

Edward

I booked my ticket on 26th of February this month and this means that I can’t travel on this date, then try to refund my ticket for me before the end of this month. I called their lines but always busy. And I sent them massage to send my money back 4 days now they haven’t send the money.i need the money because I want to travel this month.

Edward Appiah

I booked my ticket on 26th of February this month and this means that I can’t travel on this date, then try to refund my ticket for me before the end of this month. I called their lines but always busy. And I sent them massage to send my money back 4 days now they haven’t send the money.i need the money because I want to travel this month.

Cody

I booked a ticket in August 2019 for travel in May 2020. As soon as I got the liquidation notification on 2/20/20 I sent an email to the correct address requesting a refund. Never heard back after several attempts to follow up. And of course they don’t answer their phones either (they probably don’t even have staff there). Does anyone know if there are other options for getting my money back if the company is impossible to contact?