Arrivederci Alitalia, buongiorno Italia Trasporto Aereo: the ITA era has begun. Italy’s new national airline, which replaces the 75-year old bankrupt Alitalia, took to the skies on Friday 15 October on its inaugural flight between Rome and Bari.
The new airline has a new blue livery and will also sport the Italian tricolour on its rudder. The red, white and gold ITA Airways logo on the blue blackground is similar to Alitalia’s, and was acquired by the new airline for a mere €90m – considerably less than the €290m originally asked for.
“Today is the first day of a story yet to be written,” said Alfredo Altavilla, President of ITA Airways.
“The new brand and the new livery of our aircraft are the symbol of change, of the beginning of a different adventure.
“The new national airline is an integral part of Italy’s recovery strategy, and it is a result to which all stakeholders, starting with the institutions involved, have actively contributed”.
A limited route map
The airline will initially operate a limited network of 44 destinations and 59 routes – 191 flights in total (24 domestic and 56 international) – which will increase to 58 destinations and 74 routes in 2022 and 74 destinations and 89 routes in 2025.
Charter flights were also launched, with the first Malpensa–Fiumicino flight carrying Italian champion Inter Milan.
ITA Airways will focus its activity on the Rome Fiumicino hub and the Milan Linate airport, where it will position itself as the reference airline for business and leisure traffic.
Sky Team Member
Pending the identification of a Strategic Partner, ITA Airways will join Sky Team.
‘Volare’ is the new loyalty programme, with 4 levels: smart, plus, premium and executive.
It will start with 52 aircraft (7 wide-body, 45 narrow-body) to grow to 78 in 2022, with the gradual inclusion of new-generation aircraft that will reach 75% by 2025, with 105 new aircraft.
The agreement with Air Lease Corporation will provide for the leasing of an additional 31 new-generation Airbus aircraft – long-, medium- and short-haul.
“For every end there is always a new beginning,” commented Fabio Lazzerini, CEO of ITA Airways.
“This is just the first step in an ambitious project: the creation of the new flagship airline that will connect our country to the world and represent it through the work of the women and men who are and will be part of it.”
The challenge to succeed
Alfredo Altavilla was asked to comment on remarks by József Váradi, CEO of Wizzair, and Michael O’Leary of Ryanair, that ITA won’t last and is bound to fail. You can listen to his answer here.