March 15, 2021 / Italia Trasporto Aereo, the newco Alitalia (AZ), must commence flight operations this summer, by June or July, Italy’s minister of economic development, Giancarlo Giorgetti, told the parliamentary transport committee on March 17, as reported by Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
All operations must be accelerated if the government’s target for ITA to take off by this deadline is to be met, he said at the meeting, which came one day after Europe’s competition commissioner Margarethe Vestager approved Alitalia to transition into a slimmer company without a tender for the transfer of the aviation branch to the newco.
“The time factor is decisive. I also stressed this aspect to Commissioner Vestager. It is in our interests for ITA to depart as soon as possible. We are already late – ITA was supposed to be operational as early as April,” Giorgetti warned. However, against the wishes of Alitalia’s administrators, the European Commission has insisted on open tenders for some of Alitalia’s assets instead of simply having them transferred directly to the new carrier.
Because Brussels wants a clean break with the past, he added, the ITA-board-approved industrial plan is now undergoing a “deep revision”, with 45 to 47 aircraft, namely six long-haul B777-200ERs and about forty A319-100s and A320-200s. The Embraer aircraft operated by regional unit Alitalia CityLiner would be eliminated. There would be no more than 4,500 to 4,900 employees in total. (Photo Arianna Iori)