Tag Archives: Alitalia (4th)

European Commission rules on €900 million State aid granted by Italy to Alitalia and favorably on Italy’s capital injection of €1.35 billion into Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA)

The European Commission on September 10 has taken two decisions concerning the aviation sector in Italy.

In the first, we have found that two loans that Italy granted to Alitalia in 2017, for a total of 900 million euros, are illegal under State aid rules. Italy must now recover this amount from Alitalia.

In the second decision, the Commission has reached two important conclusions:

  • First, we have found that the new state-owned airline, called Italia Trasporto Aereo – or ITA, is not the economic successor of Alitalia and is therefore not liable to repay the illegal State aid received by Alitalia.
  • Second, the Commission has found that Italy’s capital injections of 1.35 billion euros into ITA are in line with market conditions, and therefore do not amount to State aid.

Both decisions are important to help restore a level playing field in the European aviation sector, while ensuring air connectivity in Italy and protecting consumer rights. This is especially important in an industry that has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The negative decision on Alitalia

Let me now go through the details, starting with the decision concerning Alitalia.

Alitalia’s financial difficulties go back a long time. There have already been a number of attempts to restructure the airline. Since 2008, when a group of private investors purchased a controlling stake, the company has made losses every year.

In 2017, Alitalia was in urgent need of liquidity. However, it had lost access to credit markets due to its financial situation. So Italy gave two state loans to the company worth 900 million euros. At the same time, Alitalia was placed into special bankruptcy proceedings.

In 2018, the Commission opened a formal State aid investigation, following a notification from Italy of the two loans as rescue aid for Alitalia. We also received a number of complaints from other airlines concerned about the impact on fair competition.

Alitalia’s financial position remained unsustainable, and at the end of 2019 the company was again in urgent need of cash. This is when Italy granted the airline another loan worth 400 million euros. Also in this case, the Commission received a number of complaints and opened a second formal investigation in early 2020. This investigation is ongoing, and we expect to be able to adopt a final decision soon.

With respect to the 900 million euros loans, the in-depth investigation has shown that first, the loans amount to State aid for Alitalia, and second that they are illegal under State aid rules.

First, we found that, when Italy granted these loans, it did not act as a private investor. It did not make a prior assessment of how likely it would be that the loans would be repaid by Alitalia, with interest. Our assessment of Alitalia’s financial situation in early 2017 showed that repayment was very unlikely – and, as a matter of fact, the loans have not been repaid to this day. Since no private lender would have granted the loans to Alitalia at the time, they amount to State aid in favor of the company.

Second, the loans could not be approved as rescue aid in line with State aid rules for companies in difficulty. That’s because the loans were not reimbursed within six months, and there was no restructuring plan to return the company to viability nor a liquidation of the company.

Our conclusion is therefore that the two loans gave Alitalia an unfair advantage over its competitors on national, European and world routes. Hence, they constitute illegal State aid, and must now be recovered by Italy from Alitalia.

Economic discontinuity between Alitalia and ITA

I now turn to the second decision we have adopted today.

In 2020, Italy established a new air carrier ITA. ITA plans to take over parts of Alitalia’s business.

Under our rules, a new company is not liable for past aid received by the seller, if the two companies are sufficiently different from one another. In other words, if there is a clear break between them, so-called “economic discontinuity”.

Our second decision concludes that there is economic discontinuity between ITA and Alitalia. This means that ITA will not be liable for the 900 million euros that Alitalia has to repay following today’s decision.

In line with established case law, this is based on a global assessment looking at a number of different factors:

First, looking at the aviation assets transferred, ITA will take off with a significantly reduced perimeter of activities. It will operate less than half of Alitalia’s aircraft, fly to fewer destinations and drop a number of loss making routes.

ITA will also only use a limited number of Alitalia’s take-off and landing slots that corresponds to the number of aircraft that it will operate. The other slots previously used by Alitalia, including at congested airports in Rome and Milan, will be released.

Second, ITA will not take over significant parts of Alitalia’s non-aviation businesses: Alitalia’s ground handling and maintenance businesses will be sold in open and competitive tenders. In these tenders, ITA will only have the opportunity to bid for the ground handling business in Rome Fiumicino Airport, and for a minority stake in the maintenance business.

Third, Alitalia’s brand will also be sold in an open and competitive tender to the highest bidder.

Fourth, ITA will have a more sustainable cost structure, especially in terms of labor and fleet costs. It will hire a significantly reduced number of staff from the market, including from Alitalia, but under new labour contracts, based on market conditions. It will also gradually modernize its fleet with new-generation fuel-efficient aircraft.

Finally, in order to be sure that there is no direct transfer of customers from Alitalia to ITA, ITA will not bid for Alitalia’s loyalty program.

ITA will therefore be a different company from Alitalia. It will take off as a streamlined airline. This is crucial for the long-term viability of ITA.

The launch of ITA

As part of the second decision adopted today, we have also assessed capital injections worth 1.35 billion euros that Italy intends to grant to ITA. These will be injected over the next three years, with an initial 700 million euros this year.

State aid rules are neutral on public versus private interventions. That’s why the State can invest in companies, on terms that a private operator would also have accepted, without it being State aid.

Our assessment of ITA’s business plan has shown that Italy is investing in ITA in line with market conditions. This is also confirmed by three independent expert reports submitted by Italy.

And this is a crucial difference compared to the two loans in favour of Alitalia, on which we have adopted a negative decision today.

The business plan foresees that ITA will be a viable airline, with sustainable costs and staffing, flying to a limited number of destinations with a focus on the profitable routes. Moreover, the business plan assumes future cost reductions stemming from the modernisation of ITA’s fleet, which will result in lower maintenance and fuel costs.

On this basis, the expected returns from Italy’s investment in ITA are estimated to be higher than the cost of equity. We therefore concluded that the Italian intervention in ITA does not constitute State aid under EU rules.

Conclusion

Today marks a fresh start for Italy’s air transport, which had to overcome many challenges. I want to stress one point that was important to us, the interests of passengers: Italy will fully refund Alitalia customers, in case Alitalia fails to honor tickets when it stops flying.

Once ITA takes off, it is for Italy and the management of ITA to make use of this opportunity, once and for all. To establish an airline that is viable, operates on an equal footing with its competitors, lives up to sustainability ambitions, and that will be successful for a long time to come.

The right groundwork has been laid. And we will continue to do our part to ensure fair competition in the European aviation sector.

Thank you.

Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA) is born to replace Alitalia

Newly-born Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA) will replace the loss-making Alitalia. The Treasury of Italy has reached a deal with the European Commission for ITA to replace the current debt-ridden Alitalia on October 15, 2021 with 52 aircraft.

The ITA SpA Board of Directors today under the chairmanship of Alfredo Altavilla, met and approved the guidelines of the 2021-2025 Business Plan.

ITA will be able to acquire the assets necessary to manage the flight division through direct negotiation with Alitalia currently in Extraordinary Administration.

ITA will start with a slot allocation consistent with the initial size of its fleet, maintaining 85% of the slots currently held by Alitalia at Milan Linate Airport and 43% of the slots at Rome Fiumicino International Airport, the latter being less congested than Linate and with a greater availability of slots that can be acquired to support the growth in flights expected over the period of the plan.

The following are the main aspects of the Business Plan approved today:
Fleet
ITA will initially operate with a fleet of 52 aircraft, 7 of which are wide body and 45 narrow body.
In 2022 the fleet will grow to 78 aircraft (+26 on 2021) of which 13 are wide body (+6 on 2021) and 65 narrow body (+20 on 2021).
From 2022, new generation aircraft will begin to be added to the fleet, which will progressively replace older technology aircraft.
At the end of 2025 the fleet will grow to 105 aircraft (23 wide body and 82 narrow body), with 81 new generation aircraft (equal to 77% of the total fleet) which will significantly reduce the environmental impact and optimize the efficiency and quality of the offer.
Employees
ITA will start its operations in 2021 with a range 2,750-2,950 employees which will rise at the end of the plan (2025) to 5,550-5,700 people. All people will be hired with a new employment contract that ensures greater competitiveness and flexibility in comparison with other operators in the sector.
Network
ITA will concentrate on profitable routes from Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate.
At the start of operations, the company will serve 45 destinations with 61 routes that will rise to 74 destinations and 89 routes in 2025.
In the IATA Winter 2021 season, ITA will operate routes to New York (from Rome and Milan), Tokyo Haneda, Boston and Miami (all three from Rome).
With the IATA Summer 2022 season the company plans to launch new flights to Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Washington and Los Angeles.
On the short and medium-haul network, ITA plans to operate connections from Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate to its main European destinations (including Paris, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, with the expectation of further increasing the number of destinations and frequencies already with the IATA Summer 2022 season).
There are numerous other international routes served from Rome (including, for example, those to Madrid, Athens, Tel Aviv, Cairo, Tunis and Algiers).
Domestically ITA will serve 21 domestic airports.
Previously on July 2, 2021 the European Commission issued this statement:

The European Commission has found that an Italian aid measure of €39.7 million to support Alitalia is in line with EU State aid rules. This measure aims at compensating the airline for the damages suffered on certain routes due to the coronavirus outbreak during the period between 1 March and 30 April 2021.

Alitalia is a major network airline operating in Italy. With a fleet of over 95 planes. In 2019, the company served hundreds of destinations all over the world, carrying about 20 million passengers from its main hub in Rome and other Italian airports to various international destinations.

The restrictions put in place in Italy and other countries to limit the spread of a second and third wave of the coronavirus pandemic have heavily affected Alitalia’s operations. As a result, Alitalia incurred significant operating losses until at least 30 April 2021.

On 25 June 2021, Italy notified to the Commission an additional aid measure to compensate Alitalia for further damages suffered on certain specific routes from 1 March to 30 April 2021 due to the emergency measures necessary to limit the spread of the virus. The support will take the form of a €39.7 million direct grant, which corresponds to the estimated damage directly caused to the airline in that period according to a route-by-route analysis of the eligible routes. This follows the Commission decisions of 12 May 202126 March 202129 December 2020 and 4 September 2020 approving Italian damage compensation measures in favour of Alitalia, compensating the airline for the damages suffered from 1 to 31 January 2021, 1 November to 31 December 2020, 16 June to 31 October 2020 and 1 March to 15 June 2020 respectively.

The Commission assessed the measure under Article 107(2)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which enables the Commission to approve State aid measures granted by Member States to compensate specific companies or sectors for damage directly caused by exceptional occurrences. The Commission considers that the coronavirus outbreak qualifies as such an exceptional occurrence, as it is an extraordinary, unforeseeable event having significant economic impact. As a result, exceptional interventions by the Member State to compensate for the damages linked to the outbreak are justified.

The Commission found that the Italian measure will compensate for damages suffered by Alitalia which are directly linked to the coronavirus outbreak that qualifies as exceptional occurrence. The damage is calculated as the loss of profitability on certain routes due to the travel restrictions and other containment measures during the relevant period. It also found that the measure is proportionate, as the route-by-route quantitative analysis submitted by Italy appropriately identifies the damage attributable to the containment measures, and therefore the compensation does not exceed what is necessary to make good the damage on those routes.

On this basis, the Commission concluded that the additional Italian damage compensation measure is in line with EU State aid rules.

Background

Based on complaints received, on 23 April 2018 the Commission opened a formal investigation procedure on €900 million loans granted to Alitalia by Italy in 2017.  On 28 February 2020, the Commission opened a separate formal investigation procedure on an additional €400 million loan granted by Italy in October 2019. Both investigations are ongoing.

Financial support from EU or national funds granted to health services or other public services to tackle the coronavirus situation falls outside the scope of State aid control. The same applies to any public financial support given directly to citizens. Similarly, public support measures that are available to all companies such as for example wage subsidies and suspension of payments of corporate and value added taxes or social contributions do not fall under State aid control and do not require the Commission’s approval under EU State aid rules. In all these cases, Member States can act immediately.

When State aid rules are applicable, Member States can design ample aid measures to support specific companies or sectors suffering from the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak in line with the existing EU State aid framework. On 13 March 2020, the Commission adopted a Communication on a Coordinated economic response to the COVID-19 outbreak setting out these possibilities.

In this respect, for example:

  • Member States can compensate specific companies or specific sectors (in the form of schemes) for the damage suffered due and directly caused by exceptional occurrences, such as those caused by the coronavirus outbreak. This is foreseen by Article 107(2)(b)TFEU.
  • State aid rules based on Article 107(3)(c) TFEU enable Member States to help companies cope with liquidity shortages and needing urgent rescue aid.
  • This can be complemented by a variety of additional measures, such as under the de minimis Regulation and the General Block Exemption Regulation, which can also be put in place by Member States immediately, without involvement of the Commission.

In case of particularly severe economic situations, such as the one currently faced by all Member States due the coronavirus outbreak, EU State aid rules allow Member States to grant support to remedy a serious disturbance to their economy. This is foreseen by Article 107(3)(b) TFEU of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Marco Finelli reporting from Italy.

European Commission approves €39.7 million of Italian aid measure to compensate Alitalia for further damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

Alitalia (3rd) (Societa Aerea Italiana) Boeing 777-3Q8 ER EI-WLA (msn 35783) JFK (Robbie Shaw). Image: 948356.

The European Commission has approved the Italian government aid package for Alitalia:

The European Commission has found that an Italian aid measure of €39.7 million to support Alitalia is in line with EU State aid rules. This measure aims at compensating the airline for the damages suffered on certain routes due to the coronavirus outbreak during the period between 1 March and 30 April 2021.

Alitalia is a major network airline operating in Italy. With a fleet of over 95 planes. In 2019, the company served hundreds of destinations all over the world, carrying about 20 million passengers from its main hub in Rome and other Italian airports to various international destinations.

The restrictions put in place in Italy and other countries to limit the spread of a second and third wave of the coronavirus pandemic have heavily affected Alitalia’s operations. As a result, Alitalia incurred significant operating losses until at least 30 April 2021.

On 25 June 2021, Italy notified to the Commission an additional aid measure to compensate Alitalia for further damages suffered on certain specific routes from 1 March to 30 April 2021 due to the emergency measures necessary to limit the spread of the virus. The support will take the form of a €39.7 million direct grant, which corresponds to the estimated damage directly caused to the airline in that period according to a route-by-route analysis of the eligible routes. This follows the Commission decisions of 12 May 202126 March 202129 December 2020 and 4 September 2020 approving Italian damage compensation measures in favour of Alitalia, compensating the airline for the damages suffered from 1 to 31 January 2021, 1 November to 31 December 2020, 16 June to 31 October 2020 and 1 March to 15 June 2020 respectively.

The Commission assessed the measure under Article 107(2)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which enables the Commission to approve State aid measures granted by Member States to compensate specific companies or sectors for damage directly caused by exceptional occurrences. The Commission considers that the coronavirus outbreak qualifies as such an exceptional occurrence, as it is an extraordinary, unforeseeable event having significant economic impact. As a result, exceptional interventions by the Member State to compensate for the damages linked to the outbreak are justified.

The Commission found that the Italian measure will compensate for damages suffered by Alitalia which are directly linked to the coronavirus outbreak that qualifies as exceptional occurrence. The damage is calculated as the loss of profitability on certain routes due to the travel restrictions and other containment measures during the relevant period. It also found that the measure is proportionate, as the route-by-route quantitative analysis submitted by Italy appropriately identifies the damage attributable to the containment measures, and therefore the compensation does not exceed what is necessary to make good the damage on those routes.

On this basis, the Commission concluded that the additional Italian damage compensation measure is in line with EU State aid rules.

Background

Based on complaints received, on 23 April 2018 the Commission opened a formal investigation procedure on €900 million loans granted to Alitalia by Italy in 2017.  On 28 February 2020, the Commission opened a separate formal investigation procedure on an additional €400 million loan granted by Italy in October 2019. Both investigations are ongoing.

Financial support from EU or national funds granted to health services or other public services to tackle the coronavirus situation falls outside the scope of State aid control. The same applies to any public financial support given directly to citizens. Similarly, public support measures that are available to all companies such as for example wage subsidies and suspension of payments of corporate and value added taxes or social contributions do not fall under State aid control and do not require the Commission’s approval under EU State aid rules. In all these cases, Member States can act immediately.

When State aid rules are applicable, Member States can design ample aid measures to support specific companies or sectors suffering from the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak in line with the existing EU State aid framework. On 13 March 2020, the Commission adopted a Communication on a Coordinated economic response to the COVID-19 outbreak setting out these possibilities.

In this respect, for example:

  • Member States can compensate specific companies or specific sectors (in the form of schemes) for the damage suffered due and directly caused by exceptional occurrences, such as those caused by the coronavirus outbreak. This is foreseen by Article 107(2)(b)TFEU.
  • State aid rules based on Article 107(3)(c) TFEU enable Member States to help companies cope with liquidity shortages and needing urgent rescue aid.
  • This can be complemented by a variety of additional measures, such as under the de minimis Regulation and the General Block Exemption Regulation, which can also be put in place by Member States immediately, without involvement of the Commission.

In case of particularly severe economic situations, such as the one currently faced by all Member States due the coronavirus outbreak, EU State aid rules allow Member States to grant support to remedy a serious disturbance to their economy. This is foreseen by Article 107(3)(b) TFEU of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

On 19 March 2020, the Commission adopted a State aid Temporary Framework based on Article 107(3)(b) TFEU to enable Member States to use the full flexibility foreseen under State aid rules to support the economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The Temporary Framework, as amended on 3 April8 May29 June13 October 2020 and 28 January 2021, provides for the following types of aid, which can be granted by Member States: (i) Direct grants, equity injections, selective tax advantages and advance payments; (ii) State guarantees for loans taken by companies; (iii) Subsidised public loans to companies, including subordinated loans; (iv) Safeguards for banks that channel State aid to the real economy; (v) Public short-term export credit insurance;(vi) Support for coronavirus related research and development (R&D); (vii) Support for the construction and upscaling of testing facilities; (viii) Support for the production of products relevant to tackle the coronavirus outbreak; (ix) Targeted support in the form of deferral of tax payments and/or suspensions of social security contributions; (x) Targeted support in the form of wage subsidies for employees; (xi) Targeted support in the form of equity and/or hybrid capital instruments; (xii) Support for uncovered fixed costs for companies facing a decline in turnover in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Temporary Framework will be in place until the end of December 2021. With a view to ensuring legal certainty, the Commission will assess before this date if it needs to be extended.

Top Copyright Photo: Alitalia (3rd) (Societa Aerea Italiana) Boeing 777-3Q8 ER EI-WLA (msn 35783) JFK (Robbie Shaw). Image: 948356.

Alitalia aircraft slide show:

Alitalia to focus on holiday destinations this summer

Alitalia will focus on short haul flights to Greece, Spain, Croatia and more flights to European cities this summer.

In the summer of 2021, Alitalia will resume flying to the Italians’ favorite tourist destinations with new international flights to Greece, Spain and Croatia and more frequencies to Sicily, Puglia and Calabria. From today it is possible to book Alitalia flights from Rome Fiumicino to Santorini, Skiathos, Preveza, Kefalonia, Crete, Corfu, Mykonos, Zakynthos, Dubrovnik and Split and those from Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate to Rhodes, Ibiza, Menorca and Palma de Mallorca.
Staring in June Alitalia will return to operate the connections with Malaga and Marseille and from July with Tel Aviv and Algiers.
From July, frequencies to the main European cities will also be increased: London, Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Athens, Paris, Nice, Brussels, Amsterdam, Geneva, Zurich, Frankfurt, Munich, Malta, Tirana. More connections also for Tunis and Cairo.
More flights will be available on national connections from Rome Fiumicino to Cagliari, Olbia, Alghero, Catania, Comiso, Lampedusa, Palermo, Pantelleria, Bari, Lamezia Terme, while from Milan Linate direct connections to Rome, Cagliari, Olbia, Alghero, Palermo will grow. Catania, Comiso, Lampedusa, Bari, Brindisi and Lamezia Terme, and from Milan Malpensa to Cagliari. Sardinia will also be reached from Pisa and Bologna with flights to Olbia, and from Verona with flights to Cagliari.
Marco Finelli reporting from Italy.

Alitalia and Rome announce new COVID-19 tested flights from Rome Fiumicino to Tokyo Haneda

Alitalia and Aeroporti di Roma are still at the forefront of protocols for traveling in extreme safety during the pandemic. After the success of Covid tested flights to and from New York, the same travel method will also be introduced for flights to Tokyo, thanks to the resumption of Alitalia’s direct flights from Rome Fiumicino to the capital of Japan, operated by three times a week.
The nonstop Alitalia service between Rome and Tokyo will start at same time with the expected Olympic Games. All passengers traveling on the three weekly flights to and from Tokyo, including the Italian athletes, must present a certificate proving negativity to Covid 19 at boarding. Upon arrival at the airport in Rome, a further antigen test will be performed. The negativity found in this second test will exempt passengers arriving in Rome from Japan from having to observe the fiduciary quarantine period in Italy. A method that has reassured the market, in parallel with the progress of the vaccination campaign in our country. The resumption of Alitalia flights to Japan will also be characterized by the inauguration of services at the most convenient city airport of Tokyo Haneda, only 20 kilometers from the city.
Marco Finelli reporting from Italy,

Reuters: Italy, Brussels to hammer out Alitalia revamp details

From Reuters:

“Rome and Brussels will start talks next week (week of March 8) to iron out technical details for the revamp of ailing carrier Alitalia, three Italian ministers said after what they referred to as a “positive and constructive” first meeting between the two sides on Friday.”

The new version of Alitalia (ITA) will start with around 45 aircraft and have around 4,500 employees and receive over 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in state support (Italy) under the current plan.

Read the full article.

 

ITA – Italia Trasporto Aereo (the new Alitalia) unveils its business plan approved by the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of ITA – Italia Trasporti Aereo SpA (the new Alitalia) has approved the 2021-2025 Business Plan. The plan is still subject to Italian and European Commission approvals.

The plan outline is based on three main objectives:

  1. Create an efficient, innovative and competitive air carrier, able to offer the country quality connectivity in synergy with the strategic sectors of premium leisure and international business, placing the best service to customers – businesses, people and families – combined with social, environmental and economic sustainability, through careful and prudent management of resources.
  2. Develop a network of alliances aimed at expanding ITA’s range of action, increasing its growth and employment prospects, optimizing its investments in fleet and systems.
  3. Anchoring the network start-up, fleet and operating structures to the reality of the current context and their development, gradually and prudently, to the resumption of post Covid traffic, to ensure the public shareholder an efficient use of capital such as to allow an economic return on the amount invested, in line with the market. This, albeit in a still uncertain context, in which it remains difficult to accurately predict the evolution of demand and the consequent return on investments.

Operational Facts:

  1. Focus on the Rome Fiumicino Airport as main hub and Milan Linate Airport.
  2. Corporate structure with a holding company that will manage the flight operations, on which two subsidiaries will depend – and therefore with their own independent financial statements, which make it possible to constantly check their performance and compliance with the economic-financial balance – with specific skills in maintenance and handling, initially 100% controlled by ITA.
  3. Investments in digital systems and platforms to guarantee the customer experience of quality travel, as a distinctive element of the offer, and to develop a flexible and lean organization.

Marketing Facts:

  1. ITA aims to become the first choice on international destinations to and from Rome Fiumicino and to be the key company for business and leisure traffic to and from Milan Linate.
  2. The air cargo transport will be developed through the usage of jetliners belly cargo and the maybe in future a possible set up of a cargo division at Milan Malpensa airport is under overlook.

The business plan in the first year of operation envisions:

  1. 61 routes
  2. 52 aircraft
  3. Between 5,200 and 5,500 employees

International services from Rome:

2021: London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris CDG, Munich, Zurich, Geneva, Barcelona, ​​Madrid. Algiers, Tunis, Athens, Tirana, Cairo, Tel Aviv

2022: Valencia, Malaga, Frankfurt, Marseille, Belgrade, Malta, Sofia

2023: Moscow, Beirut, Amman

2024: Kuwait City, Jeddah, Riyadh

Domestic flights from Rome:

Turin, Bologna, Trieste, Verona, Venice, Florence, Bari, Brindisi, Naples, Lamezia, Reggio C., Catania, Comiso, Palermo, Alghero, Cagliari, Olbia.

International services from Milan Linate:

2021: London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris CDG and ORY, Frankfurt. Nationals on Rome, Naples, Alghero, Olbia, Cagliari, Palermo, Catania, Comiso, Reggio Calabria, Lamezia, Naples, Bari, Brindisi

2022: London (other stopover), Geneva, Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Luxembourg, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Stuttgart. National: Pescara

2023: Manchester, Hamburg.

By 2025 ITA will fly 93 routes.

The future aircraft fleet to be determined.

Talks are in progress with the old Alitalia SAI for the purchase of some of the commercial assets such as the Alitalia AZ code, 055 IATA ticket issuing plate, Alitalia brand, London Heathrow slots and Programma Millemiglia, the frequent flyer program.

Marco Finelli reporting from Italy.

Alitalia aircraft photo gallery:

Alitalia aircraft slide show:

Alitalia to have COVID-free flights to New York by December 8

Alitalia and Rome airports managing company ADR –  Aeroporti di Roma have announced that, as of coming Tuesday, December 8, 2020, all passengers traveling on one of the three weekly flights from and to New York must present a certification proving the negativity to COVID-19, carried out within 48 hours prior to the flight, or perform the antigen test directly at the airport before embarking. For those departing from the United States, upon arrival at Fiumicino they will be asked to perform a new antigen test; a double check that will exempt passengers from the quarantine obligation upon entry into Italy.

Also for these COVID-tested flights, passengers it will always be required to wear a protective surgical mask and to have a number of spare parts adequate for the duration of the trip, to replace them every 4 hours. In addition, before boarding, the completion of a self-certification certifying not to have had close contact with people affected by COVID-19 is required.

The initiative responds to the needs of passengers who, in a recent market survey, expressed a growing interest in adopting these measures with increasing flight hours. Furthermore, this experimental phase will aim to evaluate the effectiveness and functionality of the new travel mode, with the aim of making it more widely available in view of the upcoming Summer 2021 season.

The new travel protocol is governed by the ordinance of November 23, 2020 of the Italian Minister of Health, issued in agreement with the Italian Minister of Infrastructure and Transport and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The government measure will be in force, unless extended, until February 15, 2021. The restrictions on entry into the United States provided for by the provisions of the American administration remain valid.

With this initiative Alitalia and Aeroporti di Roma extend the COVID-tested flight option, successfully launched last September 16, on two daily domestic flights Rome-Milan and confirm the commitment undertaken, from the earliest stages of the pandemic, to implement measures to prevent and protect the health of passengers and operators.

All Alitalia aircraft are sanitized daily with highly sanitizing products and, thanks to HEPA filters and vertical circulation, the air on board is renewed every three minutes and 99.7 pure, as in a sterile room, confirming that air travel remains the safest way to travel. In addition, the Leonardo da Vinci International Airport is at the forefront for high security standards achieved and is considered one of the safest airports in the world, so much so that it has obtained from Skytrax the maximum rating of 5 starts on anti-COVID health protocols, the ACI Airport Health Accreditation, and has just been chosen for the third consecutive year by ACI Europe as the best airport in Europe precisely because of the virus containment measures.

Marco Finelli reporting from Italy.

Alitalia aircraft slide show:

Alitalia resumes nonstop Rome-New York services

Alitalia flight AZ 608 marking the resumption of the Airline direct services between Rome and New York, departed at 10:40 am this morning (June 2).

Flights to and from New York will be operated twice a week (from Italy on Tuesdays and Saturdays, from the United States on Wednesdays and Sundays) until 14 June. In the second half of June, the service will be increased to four days a week, with the addition of two flights from Italy on Thursdays and Sundays and two from New York on Mondays and Fridays.

The flight will land at New York JFK airport at 2:25 pm (local time). The departure of the Alitalia flight from the American city is scheduled at 5:05 pm (local time) with arrival in Fiumicino at 7:40 am of the following morning.

All passenger flights are operated with reduced aircraft capacity, in order to comply with the provisions of the Italian law on social distancing on board aircraft.

Photo: Alitalia.

Alitalia to resume flights to New York, Spain and from Milan to southern Italy in June – 36% more flights compared to May

Alitalia will resume on June 2, 2020 the nonstop Rome-New York service, direct flights to Spain (Roma-Madrid and Rome-Barcelona) and nonstop flights between Milan and southern Italy. The Airline will operate 36% more flights compared to May, flying on 30 routes to 25 airports, including 15 in Italy and 10 abroad.

In detail, from Milan Malpensa airport, where the Airline will carry on its operations until the reopening of Linate airport, Alitalia will operate, in addition to the 8 daily services with Rome Fiumicino, two daily flights to and from Bari, Catania and Palermo (except for any extension of the restrictions on air transport to and from Sicily currently in force) and 4 daily flights to and from Cagliari, Alghero and Olbia.

From Rome, after having already increased services with Cagliari (from 4 to 6 flights per day), beginning on May 21, Alitalia will increase its flights with Catania and Palermo (from 6 to 8 per day) and in June the Airline will connect its hub in Rome Fiumicino airport with Alghero, Bologna, Bari, Genoa, Lamezia Terme, Milan, Naples, Olbia, Pisa, Turin, Venice and, abroad, besides New York, with Barcelona, Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, London, Madrid, Munich, Paris and Zurich.

 

For the third quarter of 2020, Alitalia expects to increase its activity at about 40% of what was planned before the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Flight offering will increase according to the trend in demand, which is already recovering on some domestic routes, and benefiting from the progressive abolition by foreign countries of restrictions on flights and passengers from Italy, as well as from lower disincentive guidelines for travels to Italy.

 

During June and July, Alitalia will also continue cargo services with China which have allowed to import so far over 70 million of protective face masks and other medical supplies (such as respirators, safety gloves, protective glasses and lab coats) necessary to manage the Covid-19 emergency. Besides the 15 services operated between March and April and the 24 flights that will be operated in May, the Airline has scheduled 25 further cargo services for June.

 

Alitalia also continues to organize special flights, in coordination with the Crisis Unit of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, even operating to and from airports not usually served by the Airline, in order to repatriate Italian citizens still stranded abroad. The Airline is organizing new special flights with Argentina for the next few days.

 

All passenger flights are operated with the aircraft capacity more than halved, in order to comply with the provisions of the Italian law on social distancing on board aircraft.

 

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Alitalia has never suspended its flight operations ensuring an essential public service for travelers and operating, on average, more flights than the main European airlines, in particular the low cost carriers. Despite the need to adopt a limited flight program, in April, for instance, Alitalia operated about 10% of flights compared to the same month of the previous year, against an average of 6% of flights operated by the main European flag carriers and about 2% of flights operated by no frills airlines. This trend has continued also in the first 15 days of May when Alitalia operated about 12% of flights compared to the same period of the previous year, against an average of about 7% of flights operated by the main European flag carriers and about 2% of flights operated by the main low cost airlines.

Alitalia aircraft photo gallery: