The Italian flag carrier Alitalia has announced that all flights scheduled after October 15, 2021, are canceled. 

Passengers that have booked flights with Alitalia after the deadline should be able to get refunded. In an attempt to create a new debt-free carrier, the Italian government created a 100 million fund to pay back customers. According to the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera, around 250,000 people are concerned.

Past the date, the newcomer Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA) will take over the 52 Alitalia airport slots. The successor received its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and Air Transport Operating License from the Italian National Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) on August 18, 2021.

The new carrier will initially operate a fleet of 52 airliners out of which seven should be wide-body jets, with plans to reach 80 aircraft by the end of 2022, and over 105 in 2025. 

Its workforce should be between 2,750 to 2,950 people when it begins, a pale comparison to Alitalia Group’s 11,000 current employees. However, it aims to increase its staff numbers to 5,550 to 5,700 people by 2025.

Starting with an initial network of 45 destinations and 61 routes in 2021, ITA aims to expand the network to 74 destinations and 89 routes around the world by the end of 2025.

ITA is attempting to secure the brand of its predecessor Alitalia, which should be auctioned off.

The end of a saga

The creation of ITA was announced just a year before it will start operations. Ministers of Transport, Economy, Labour, and Economic Development signed to create the new Italian flag carrier on October 10, 2020. 

After years of unprofitability, Alitalia was placed under administration in 2017, following the rejection by the unions of a recovery plan from the shareholder Etihad Airways. Since then, the airline has been renationalized. 

In 2017, Alitalia received almost €900 million in loans to support a restructuring process. Two years later, in 2019, the carrier was granted another €400 million loan for the same purpose. In March 2021, the government of Italy injected another €24.7 million as a support measure from the government of Italy to mitigate the financial damages it suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.