Alitalia appears poised to return from the dead. Again. ITA Airways indicated the legacy branding will return to service.
Italia Trasporto Aereo
SkyTeam officially welcomes ITA Airways as a member airline today. The Alitalia replacement joins the alliance two weeks after launching flights and a new loyalty program for customers.
Late on Thursday night Alitalia will make its final flight. AZ1586 from Cagliari to Rome is scheduled to depart at 22:05 local time, arriving in Rome at 23:10. And on Friday morning a new airline will take its place. Conveniently, also operating as Alitalia.
Italy’s newest airline may be forced to pay far more than it hoped to keep the Alitalia brand alive. Reports suggest a starting price of 290 million euro (~$341mm) for the public auction of the brand, roughly double the previously appraised value.
Alitalia’s obviously illegal loans from Italy won’t saddle its successor ITA as it launches in five weeks, thanks to a European Commission ruling handed down today.
Come October 15th Alitalia will cease operations; Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA) will take its place as Italy’s flag carrier. Except that Alitalia will still probably be in business. ITA confirms that it intends to bid on the Alitalia brand at auction as part of its application to serve the United States.