Arrivederci Alitalia: the new airline will be called ITA Airways

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Indeed, the Italian flag carrier always has a margin to surprise once again: in the official announcement of the launch of ITA Transporto Aereo – the company that will continue Alitalia’s operation, with Alitalia employees and Alitalia aircraft but taking care to be the continuity of Alitalia (at least in the eyes of the European Union) – announced that it will not use the name Alitalia. It will be called ITA Airways.

The livery of the aircraft will also change and will be blue. In the coming weeks, the planes will fly with Alitalia’s colors, but once they are replaced by the planes under the new agreement with Airbus, they will have the new livery.

The question is, why were 90 million euros paid for the Alitalia brand? The answer is simply to prevent a competitor from getting it. Also, alitalia.com will not be used as a sales channel: the new site will be ita-airways.com

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Fabio Lazzerini, CEO of ITA, explained the name change during the press conference held to launch the new company: «As of today, this is the name of the company. It is a name that looks forward, that looks to the future».

As reported by Corriere Della Sera, Ita Airways has also created a new loyalty program, called Volare, which will replace the legendary MilleMiglia from the old Alitalia. ITA’s Commercial Director, Emiliana Limosani, noted that the program will have four categories – Smart, Plus, Premium, and Executive – and will allow miles to be transferred from other airlines’ programs. It was not initially clear whether these companies include Alitalia or not.

Alfredo Altavilla, ITA’s President, said that the company has the right size now in order to be able to compete: «We do not carry the negative legacy of being too big,» explained Altavilla, «which then necessarily collides with economic sustainability. We must not have dreams of greatness or the ambition to prove anything to anyone. We must demonstrate to the Italian taxpayers, who are our shareholders, that we will be vigilant in the use we make of their capital.»

Asked about criticism from Ryanair and Wizz, who said that ITA is condemned to failure because of its business model that is far from the predominant low-cost model, Altavilla did not give too much spin: «I fly planes and people, they transport chickens in cages.» and added that in the balance of the companies’ results it is necessary to disaggregate the incentives and subsidies of the airports to where these airlines fly, just to see if they would really be as profitable without them.

Pablo Díaz (diazpez)
Director Editorial de Aviacionline.com. 40 años. Argentino. Casado. Profesional de IT por elección, Aeronáutico por vocación. Casi piloto. Casi Spotter. Casi Ingeniero. Viajero ocasional, nerd frecuente.

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