ITA Airways: Alitalia becomes ITA Airways (Italia Trasporto Aereo)
No, not an Australian icon or chair of the ABC, but the airline that phoenix-like has risen from the financial ashes of Alitalia.
Alitalia, with huge government subsidies and leaking lira (Euro’s) like a sieve for years, finally closed its doors and sacked most of its staff on 15 October. It has been replaced by a new government-funded airline ITA Airways with an all Airbus fleet largely inherited from Alitalia. It’s essentially a rebranded Alitalia apparently without the financial and union rules baggage, or the Millemiglia loyalty program.
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If you were a member of the Millemiglia loyalty program, then you need to visit the Alitalia website, and sort out what to do. The program is commercially separate from Alitalia, and the EU Commission has barred the new ITA from bidding for the purchase of the program.
Speaking about loyalty – Which alliance will ITA belong to?
Good question and the answer is we don’t know. ITA Chairman Alfredo Altavilla has expressed interest in joining an alliance within the first year of operation but has not expressed a preference. Alitalia used to belong to the SkyTeam family.
According to a claimed exclusive report in ET back in August, SkyTeam:
“is currently partnering with Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA), the new carrier replacing Alitalia as the national airline, to explore ways to continue providing SkyTeam’s 700 million customers with seamless connectivity to key Italian destinations.”
But it doesn’t appear that ‘seamless connectivity’ doesn’t appear to have happened.
Lufthansa wants ITA to join Star Alliance, their airline alliance, but, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker is keen to add new members to the OneWorld alliance of which he is chair. Al Bakar knows a thing or two about Italian airlines, given he was chairman of now-defunct Alitalia rival Air Italy which closed at the beginning of the pandemic.
The answer to the question ‘Which Alliance?’ will be answered in the usual slightly chaotic, totally uncorrupt way, displaying the attributes of the Italy we all love.
Despite the substantial portion of Australians having Italian heritage, Alitalia or any other Italian airline has not flown to Australia since 2000.
I wish the new ITA all the best, but with what looks like a temporary website, and now alliance booked in and a sketchy new loyalty program – ‘Volare’ – (I can’t even get the page to load) the auguries are not good.