ITA (Italia Trasporto Aereo), Italy’s upcoming national airline and flag carrier, has announced its official launch date: October 15, 2021. This makes it a full year after the Italian government made its announcement in October of 2020 for ITA to purchase and take over assets of Alitalia, Italy’s flag carrier since 1947. Alitalia will cease all its flights and operations on October 15, 2021 as well. 

In a separate statement, Alitalia has announced on August 24, 2021, that it will end all ticket sales on its website and that passengers who have purchased flights for October 15, 2021 and onwards will be refunded. 

ITA, a much smaller airline than Alitalia, is starting out slowly with gradual steps. It will commence with an initial fleet of 52 aircraft, namely, 7 Airbus 330s, 44 A320 family aircraft, and one Embraer jet. This is less than half of Alitalia’s pre-COVID fleet of 113 aircraft. 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, ITA has a promising business plan. It aims to increase its staff numbers to 5,550 to 5,700 people by 2025. And if ITA wins the tender for Alitalia’s ground handling and maintenance divisions, an additional 3,750 to 3,950 people could be hired by 2025. The new carrier also plans for its fleet to reach 80 aircraft by the end of 2022, and over 105 in 2025.

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The Italian National Civil Aviation Authority issued the Air Operator Certificate (COA) and the Air Transport Operating License to ITA, Alitalia’s successor.