In October of 2021, the Italian airline Alitalia quietly ceased to exist as a business, leaving many travelers wondering what happened, and also wondering what would replace it. Here’s the short version of events.
Who is Alitalia’s replacement, ITA Airways?
Alitalia was around for nearly 75 years, but suffered from massive financial troubles recently. A new airline, the state-backed ITA (Italia Transporto Aero), took over Alitalia operations on October 15, 2021 and through some complicated governmental wheeling and dealing, permitted the new entity to be free from the previous airline’s debt.
The new ITA promises to be a more streamlined and lean organization, paring back aircraft from 110 to 52 airplanes and from 10,500 to 2,800 staff. In addition, as part of the new deal, ITA also brokered the purchase of the Alitalia brand. Initially, ITA explained that it only purchased the name Alitalia to prevent other companies from picking it up.
Is Alitalia gone for good?
Just in the past day or so, ITA has made something of a reversal on that initial announcement. Now, it seems, the new airline plans to keep Alitalia as a brand going forward, and will re-launch flights under the Alitalia name in March 2022. While a spokesman explains that there are no plans to make Alitalia the low-cost arm of the carrier, there’s not a lot of information being shared about what exactly the long-term plans are for the brand, or how it will be different from ITA.
Is ITA an improvement over Alitalia?
By and large the launch of ITA has gone smoothly. Some customers have even found the inflight experience superior to Alitalia. The biggest improvement seems to be the customer experience. ITA has promised to pay employees by company performance and customer satisfaction ratings, and so far it seems to be working well. Travelers report that the flight crews are warm and customer service is excellent.
Where does ITA fly?
As of this month, ITA services about 35 destinations. Service from the U.S. right now is limited to flights from JFK in New York, with more U.S. cities added to the airline’s network starting in March 2022. Eventually, destinations will include Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Miami, and others. Initial gateways to Italy are Rome and Milan.
Once you’ve arrived, ITA offers domestic service. Fly to to Bari, Bologna, Brindisi, Catania, Florence, Lamezia, Naples, Palermo, Reggio C., Trieste, Venice, Verona, Turin and a few other cities.
If you’re traveling to Europe this summer, please check out our Europe Summer Flights page. Here you can see the latest information for the best days to buy your flights. We also share tips for travel planning, including destinations to help your trip go smoothly.