“ITA can take off,” said Pierluigi Di Palma, President of ENAC civil aviation authority, in a statement authorizing the new carrier to start operations and sell tickets from October 15th.
With the launch of the new and much leaner airline, Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA) takes over some of Alitalia’s assets while relinquishing others, including its ground operations and maintenance, as well as ceding of airport slots, and reducing its fleet of planes to about 50.
ITA plans to make Rome Fiumicino its main international hub, with Milan Linate its second-biggest airport. The airline’s preliminary business plan includes 61 routes to 45 destinations in 2021, mainly to other European capitals such as Paris, London, Amsterdam, and Brussels.
ITA’s long-haul routes will focus on major airports in the U.S. and Japan, including NYC, Boston, Miami, and Tokyo. As ITA officials put it, the airline aims to become “the first choice on international destinations to and from Rome Fiumicino.”
The carrier will also fly domestically between 21 airports in Italy, allowing passengers to connect with international flights in Rome or Milan from smaller airports such as Venice, Genoa, Verona, Florence, Naples, and Bari.
By 2025, ITA hopes to add nearly 30 new destinations, including Washington DC, Los Angeles, Sao Paolo, and Buenos Aires.
“The hope is that the new… company will contribute to the restart of the sector, contributing in a decisive way to overcome the difficulties arising from the pandemic crisis,” added Di Palma.
However, it is still unclear how Alitalia will reimburse or reroute approximately 255,000 people, who, according to estimations by Corriere della Sera have purchased tickets for Alitalia flights after October 15th.