Italy’s Alitalia Replacement To Be Operational By Mid-October

There has been a series of talks between the European Union and Italian officials over the last few months amid the formation of ITA, the successor to Alitalia. Amid the ups and downs, it appears that Italy is now on course for a fall launch with its new flag carrier.

Alitalia Airbus A330-200
Those organizing ITA seek to raise €700 million ($826.70 million) to purchase assets from the old firm to start operating. Photo: Getty Images

An ongoing saga

The national carrier of Italy has been going through significant financial and operational difficulty for quite some time. Notably, it has been under Extraordinary Administration since 2017 and has been under state control since March 2020.

Nonetheless, it is hoped that a new company will help revive the operation. ITA seeks to focus on profitable long-haul services and has its eyes on 75 planes to help it with its mission. Following ongoing talks with the EU, The Italian transport ministry states that the new airline will be fully operational from October 15.

It was hoped that the carrier would launch this summer to take advantage of the summer tourists. However, talks dragged on even after a preliminary deal was announced.

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Plenty of twists

Amid the transitions, the wider industry has been expressing its concerns. For instance, after €12.8 million ($15.5 million) in state funding was pumped into Alitalia earlier this year, Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson shared his frustration about authorities injecting money into the Italian market. The executive of the Irish operator even said he’s not afraid to take action if necessary.

There have been questions made across Europe. Photo: Getty Images

Nonetheless, in Italy, this week’s update is a notable turn. Transport Minister Enrico Giovannini said the following, according to ANSA.

“With ITA a new important Italian airline is born, with significant growth prospects, and which will be able to compete on the national and international market”

Meanwhile, a European Commission spokesperson said it will keep communicating closely with European authorities to ensure that the launch of ITA as an influential new figure in the industry is in line with the EU laws in state aid.

The European Commission concludes the following, according to the ANSA report:

“Italy has reassured the European Commission that, at the end of the Alitalia operations, passengers’ rights will be protected.”

Alitalia Boeing 777-3Q8(ER) EI-WLA (4)
Alitalia has been a veteran in Italian aviation for around three-quarters of a century. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

A significant impact

Job losses are sadly expected amid the sizeable 11,000-person strong Alitalia workforce. However, as ITA grows, officials anticipate that over 2,700 will be hired for the new airline this year, with another over 5,500 workers joining in 2022. Altogether, the government is undoubtedly keen to end the ongoing crisis. So, it will be glad that ITA is edging closer to officially launching.

What are your thoughts about the launch of Alitalia’s successor, ITA, this October? What do you make of the journey of Italy’s flag carrier over the last few years? Let us know what you think of the situation and the prospects of the market in the comment section.