Italy Gets a New National Airline After Alitalia Folds

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Flight Travel From Milan To Palermo
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Alitalia, Italy’s national airline, announced that it would stop selling any new tickets for flights departing after Oct. 14, 2021. After operating for nearly three-quarters of a century, the country’s largest airline will be closing its cabin doors permanently.

If you’ve flown Alitalia, the closure may not be a big surprise. While it was never on the bucket list of must-fly carriers (even if the airline has held such precious Italian cargo as the Pope himself), its routes were plentiful, and it was even named the most on-time airline in 2019. (It even lent a helping hand in the recent shipment of vaccines.)

But in 2020—just as the pandemic was peeking over the Italian horizon—the airline was purchased by the Italian government, and now, on Oct. 14, it will take-off and land one final time.

As Alitalia exits, a new national carrier will enter—in fact, they’ve already started selling tickets. Flights on ITA, fittingly, will begin on Oct. 15, 2021, hopefully leaving a short runway for any routing gaps. ITA, which stands for Italia Trasporto Aereo, will kick off with fewer aircraft than its predecessor (52 compared to 113 at Alitalia's peak) and just 2,750 employees—a large decline from Alitalia's 12,000.

Passengers with confirmed tickets on Alitalia flights after Oct. 14 should expect an email or other direct communication from the airline. Depending on the traveler’s original flight and schedule, Alitalia will be offering to rebook passengers on flights departing before the airline shutters or a full refund.

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