Alitalia is ending operations and will no longer sell tickets for flights taking place after October 15. All flights previously scheduled after that date have been canceled, and ticket holders will have the option of receiving a full refund or rebooking the same destination on an earlier date, the company said.
Alitalia’s end after 75 years as Italy’s national carrier was widely expected after last month’s announcement that the new state-owned carrier Italia Transporto Aereo would begin operations on October 15. The ITA will initially operate a fleet of 52 aircraft — seven wide-body and 45 narrow-body — with plans to add more aircraft later this year. Operating from home bases in Milan and Rome, the newly launched carrier will offer connections to 45 destinations, including Paris, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt and Geneva. The first American destinations will be New York, Boston and Miami, with service to Washington and Los Angeles scheduled for summer 2022.
After years of financial hardship, Alitalia filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and courted potential buyers such as Delta, easyJet and Lufthansa. Ultimately, however, the company couldn’t find a suitor and the Italian government took full control of the carrier in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic hit Italy and nearly halted demand for travel in airplane.
News of Alitalia’s impending shutdown comes the same day another financially struggling national airline, South African Airways, announced it would resume service next month after being grounded for nearly a year. and half.