Thursday October 14, 2021
It’s over for the traditional airline
Alitalia takes off for the last time
The era of Alitalia ends after 74 years. In the evening a plane of the Italian airline takes off for the last time. This is the beginning of an uncertain future for many employees.
A chapter in Italian aviation history ends today: the last Alitalia flight from Sardinia to Rome is scheduled to take off late in the evening. According to the plan, the machine from Cagliari is expected at 11.10 p.m. at the capital airport Rome-Fiumicino, said an Alitalia spokesman. The airline will go out of service with the last flight. The new state airline Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA) will then take off on Friday. It is considered to be Alitalia’s successor, but according to the EU Commission it is not its “economic successor”.
Brussels wants ITA to break with the troubled Alitalia past. After 2002, the traditional airline no longer made a profit. Attempts to get the company back on its feet failed. In 2017 it went bankrupt and the Italian state took over. This granted bridging aid in the amount of around 900 million euros – unlawful from the point of view of the competition watchdog in Brussels. During the corona pandemic, Alitalia was dependent on further millions in aid to keep operations going.
“A somewhat expensive family”
The situation around the end of Alitalia and the planned start of the ITA repeatedly caused resentment and anger among the more than 10,000 employees. The new company plans to start up with fewer staff, around 2800 employees and initially 52 machines. Many Alitalia employees can no longer be employed there. The result was protests and many canceled flights to the end. With the end, the Alitalia brand will also be sold. However, there have been no offers for the € 290 million offer so far.
The airline’s 74-year-old era ends with the last flight. According to the company, the first Alitalia aircraft took off on May 5, 1947 for flight on the Turin – Rome – Catania route. The popes also flew with the airline. On his recent trip to Budapest, Pope Francis mentioned the end of Alitalia in his address to journalists. Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi said in April that he viewed Alitalia as a kind of family, “a somewhat expensive family, but still a family”.