Air Italy Announces Liquidation And Suspension Of Operations

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.

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


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.


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, 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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Wow!!! A big shock!


Indeed !


Not really, you could see this coming from miles away. Launched under the (very arrogant an naïve) prediction that Alitalia would go bankrupt (which the Italian government will of course never allow).
The short haul market in Italy is completely dominated by Easyjet and Ryanair. What were they expecting to gain?? Their long haul routes choices were very questionable from the beginning. And after a big launch they became silent very quickly.


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


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


The Aga Khan owns the company that owned the other 51%.

Daniel Clarke

The Aga Khan owns 51% of the airline, although in practice Qatar Airways had control of the airline. In the last few years, the Aga Khan covered debts of approximately 600 million euros.


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


I noticed that, I agree with you. I checked yesterday :O and a flight from New York to Milan round trip costed $258.00. No wonder they went bankrupt!


Last month I purchased a return ticket from MXP to MIA paying €265 ($289), to fly next October…
I flew with Air Italy four times before on long haul routes, always found it perfect! I’m so sorry they folded….


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


…and these are supposed to be strong financial times. I wonder if the recession is starting to hit sooner then expected…


I think it is because these airlines are operating low-cost long-haul routes. The problem is that flying long-haul isn’t low-cost at all… To operate low-cost, you’ll need high frequencies and fast turn arounds, which is impossible when operating wide-bodies on long-haul routes. That’s what I think…

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 !


agreed anywhere qatar and etihad invest goes bankrupt like airberlin and alitalia if were rwandair i wouldn’t let them have a stake


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!


@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


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.


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 .


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… Read more »


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.