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Alitalia dies after 75 turbulent years, hands over to ITA

Alitalia planes are seen on the tarmac at Fiumicino Worldwide Airport as talks between Italy and the European Fee over the revamp of Alitalia are on account of enter a key part, in Rome, Italy, April 15, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

MILAN, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Alitalia, a one-time image of Italian type and glamour introduced low by financial mismanagement, will function its final flight on Thursday after 75 years, earlier than handing over to its downsized successor Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA).

The normal selection of popes, prima donnas and Italy’s political elite, Alitalia has been run by state-appointed directors since 2017 to keep away from being liquidated.

An evening flight from Sardinia’s capital Cagliari on account of land in Rome at round 2100 GMT will mark the ultimate bow for the airline based in 1946, after a dizzying succession of restructurings and modifications of possession.

The corporate has ended just one 12 months within the black this century and the federal government has run to its rescue many instances, spending greater than 8 billion euros ($9.27 billion) simply within the final three years.

As has typically been the case throughout its lifetime, Alitalia’s final rites have been surrounded by political dispute, with the far-right opposition social gathering Brothers of Italy blaming Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s authorities for its demise.

“As we speak we’re shedding one other jewel, an organization that has solid the historical past of our nation and … made us proud to be Italian,” mentioned the social gathering chief Giorgia Meloni.

After searching for to promote Alitalia to non-public traders, in 2020 Rome surrendered to the disastrous penalties of the pandemic for the airline sector and determined to create ITA from its ashes.

The brand new provider, by which the federal government will make investments 1.35 billion euros over three years, will begin with 52 jets and a pair of,800 workers, in contrast with round 110 plane and a workforce of 10,000 for Alitalia.

Below a deal negotiated with the European Fee, there should be clear discontinuity between Alitalia and its successor, and the brand new provider must be worthwhile by the top of its 2021-2025 marketing strategy.

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Nevertheless, Alitalia’s legacy of excessive prices, mismanagement and heavy political and commerce union affect could also be onerous for ITA to shrug off.

The brand new provider is in talks to purchase Alitalia’s model and is predicted to take care of the standard green-white-red livery.

The launch of a nimbler provider leaves a query mark over the way forward for greater than 7,000 Alitalia staff who will likely be put beneath a short lived lay-off scheme paid for by the federal government till a minimum of Sept. 2022.

($1 = 0.8630 euros)

Reporting by Francesca Landini; Enhancing by Gavin Jones and Jan Harvey

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