There is potential in the Alitalia brand, says ITA Airways CEO

ITA Airways is still hopeful about the Alitalia brand that it purchased in 2021
Simone Previdi /

ITA Airways Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Fabio Lazzerini has teased that the airline is studying projects related to its predecessor brand, Alitalia. 

Lazzerini claimed that the Alitalia brand “will return to the market,” and that ITA Airways is looking at “a couple of interesting projects” related to the airline’s name. Alitalia operated between 1947 and October 2021. The executive spoke to reporters during an opening event for a new boarding area at Terminal 1 at Rome–Fiumicino International Airport (FCO), according to local media reports

ITA Airways bought the Alitalia brand shortly after overtaking the defunct airline’s operations for €90 million ($98.7 million). 

During the Farnborough International Airshow in July 2022, Lazzerini told FlightGlobal that the new Italian airline had “a couple of very nice and creative ideas” for the Alitalia name.  

“It’s a brand which has a value and… we think we can leverage very well the power of that brand,” Lazzerini added, noting that it will be a separate project. 

ITA Airways was born out of the ashes of Alitalia on October 15, 2021, on the same day the former flag carrier ceased operations, with the Italian government beginning a restructuring process previously.

The European Commission (EC) concluded in September 2021 that ITA Airways was not the economic successor of Alitalia, allowing the airline to avoid repaying two state aid loans worth €900 million ($987.6 million). The EC also stated that the bankrupt airline’s brand “will be sold in an open, transparent, non-discriminatory and unconditional tender to the highest bidder,” with the new Italian airline being able to bid. The commission also approved Italy’s €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) capital injection into ITA Airways, with the Italian state having already given more than €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) to the new airline.

According to Lazzerini, since the company’s cash position is currently “excellent”, the last available tranche of €250 million ($274.4 million) is not necessary. 

In March 2023, the EC ruled that the Italian state must recover €400 million ($439.1 million) plus interest from Alitalia. 

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