Currently, the industry is not very hopeful regarding its short-term future. Fleet, job and schedule cuts are present all around. Yet one airline is still hopeful – Air Italy. The Milan, Italy-based airline abruptly entered voluntary liquidation in February 2020.

Now, the airline has filed documents with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to continue service to the United States under the open skies air transport agreement between Europe and the US.

The exemption from 49 U.S.C. § 41301, previously granted to Meridiana fly, allows a company to transport freight or passengers on scheduled or charter flights from any European Union (EU) member state to any point in the United States, including fifth freedom flights.

While the airline currently has no aircraft certified to fly, apart from five Boeing 737 MAX jets, Air Italy stated that the renewal of the exemption “would be in the public interest,” as it would preserve the status quo during the period when the airline “reviews its options.”

Air Italy’s filing, nevertheless, highlighted that the airline “has suspended its operations to the United States, the carrier continues to hold a homeland license to provide the service authorized by this exemption.”

The application could indicate that the airline is still hopeful to restart services; however, the current pandemic situation could point in the other direction and the fact that liquidators are looking to keep the value of Air Italy’s assets, including its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC).

AeroTime News approached Air Italy for comment.

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With the backing of Qatar Airways, the growth plans of Air Italy were very ambitious. However, the airline has reportedly hit a financial wall, which requires more cash to climb over to keep operating.