The successor to Alitalia received its license to fly today (Wednesday 18th August). The Civil aviation authority ENAC granted ITA its certificate as an air operator (COA) and license to exercise air transport.
ITA, which stands for Italia Trasporto Aereo, is the smaller incarnation of Alitalia. The airline will be fully operational from 15th October.
Transport Minister Enrico Giovannini said: “with ITA a new important Italian airline is born, with significant growth prospects, and which will be able to compete on the national and international market”.
A fleet of 52
ITA’s fleet will start with 52 aircraft, increasing to 78 in 2022 with the arrival of new-generation aeroplanes, according to the company’s industrial plan.
Further expansion of the fleet will happen by the end of 2025. 105 aircraft, including 81 new generation aeroplanes (77% of the fleet), will reduce the airline’s environmental impact and boost efficiency.
The plan also shows there will be 2,750-2,950 employees handling the aviation activities this year. This will increase to 5,550-5,700 by the end of 2025.
The company aims to break even by the third quarter of 2023.
Destinations and hubs
ITA’s hubs will be Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate airports.
Initially, there will be 45 destinations and 61 routes. Expansion will see this rise to 74 destinations and 89 routes in 2025.
There are also long-haul destinations for the 2021 winter season including New York, Tokyo Haneda, Boston and Miami. Long haul routes for summer 2022 season will include Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Washington and Los Angeles.
The European Commission asked Rome to show there would be “discontinuity” to give the green light to the launch of ITA, a new State-controlled company.
A European Commission spokesperson said Brussels will “remain in close contact with the Italian authorities to ensure that the launch of ITA as a vital, new market player is in line with the EU laws on State aid.
“Italy has reassured the European Commission that, at the end of the Alitalia operations, passengers’ rights will be protected,” the spokesperson added.
Italian trade unions are not positive, saying the new airline was “born weak” and its business plan was “unacceptable”.