The first flight AZ 2008 is programmed for 15 October. an airbus 319 It is scheduled to take off from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport at 6.30 a.m. and to Linate City Airport in Milan. The flight numbers come from Old Alitalia. The bankrupt airline also handles ticket sales. The flight will then be operated by ITA, which will rise like a phoenix from Alitalia’s ashes in two weeks. However, unrest is hindering preparations to resume.
ITA boss Alfredo Altavilla has to overcome several obstacles in the final pace. The start-up started recruiting employees ten days back. Since there was no agreement with unions on employment contracts, the airline is now terminating contracts directly with individual applicants. It will initially take 2800 employees on board, who will be offered a 30 per cent reduction in salary. Unions, on the other hand, have stirred up. Rome is also heating up with concerns from the more than 10,500 Alitalia employees who are demanding an extension of their short-term allowance until 2025. A week earlier, strikers blocked the motorway to Roman airport for three hours. Protests take place in the capital almost every day.
The transition from Alitalia to ITA is also bumpy. The government had to intervene on Friday to get Alitalia’s executive administrators to approve training courses for flight crews. If the pilot and flight attendant have not completed the prescribed course, flight control may not approve their switch to ITA. “We hope that no further obstacles will be added to the current situation, as the situation is quite bad,” says trade unionist Salvatore Pelechia.
The ITA and the Roman government have stuck to the start date despite the difficulties. “We know that very complex decisions have to be made and that time is short,” said Transport Minister Enrico Giovanni. The national airline will fly with one leg on the brakes on October 15. Due to low passenger interest and low number of bookings, it is flying only with part of its small fleet, which currently consists of 52 Alitalia aircraft. It also lacks a permit for long-haul flights. At the same time, airline boss Altavilla is focusing on growth and has now ordered 59 new aircraft from Airbus.
With its ambitious long-haul plans, the new airline will fly directly against German competition Lufthansa.
Unlike Alitalia, ITA relies on a single aircraft manufacturer – Airbus. In doing so, she wants to save costs, especially when it comes to pilot training and maintenance. A recently published agreement with Airbus and leasing company Air Lease Corporation (ALC) makes it clear that ITA will play an important role on long-haul routes as well.
ITA orders 28 aircraft directly from Airbus, including ten long-range jets A330neoEleven Machines A320neo-Family and seven little ones A220. Another five alc . come from a330neosmilf elf A320neo and 15 A220. In all, ITA is procuring 59 machines that are to be delivered between the second quarter of 2022 and the end of 2025. Another 25 aircraft are to be leased from other leasing companies in the next four years.
The airline wants to double its fleet from 52 to 105 jets in the next four years – by then many older aircraft are to be decommissioned. In 2025, 70 percent of the fleet will be equipped with latest generation machines, which have low emissions and save kerosene. This would have brought it back to the shape of its notoriously loss-making predecessor as Italy’s national airline, but according to a decision by the European Commission, it is not required to protect its legacy. The commission recently decided that ITA would not replace Alitalia.
For Airbus, the order is a significant breakthrough at a time that is still difficult due to the pandemic. Alitalia also primarily used Airbus jets, but was primarily a Boeing customer for long-range aircraft and flew regional aircraft from the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer.
Particularly notable is ITA’s attempt to return to the business of the long haul in a big way. 15 new machines are coming from Airbus and ALC, and ITA also says it wants the latest Airbus large-capacity model A350 Buy, but don’t say how many. As a rule, sub-fleets with less than ten aircraft have no economic meaning. ITA also has access to older Alitalia jets. With such ambitious plans, she would fly directly to Lufthansa, which attracts long-distance business, particularly from northern Italy, via hubs in Munich and Frankfurt.
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