Alitalia stops selling tickets for flights after 15 October as ITA moves closer to take-off.
Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA), Italy’s new national airline to replace Alitalia, will start selling flight tickets on 26 August.
ITA is scheduled to launch on 15 October, having obtained its operating licence from the Italian civil aviation authority ENAC last week.
At midnight last night, 24 August, Alitalia ceased selling tickets for flights departing after 15 October, the day ITA takes to the skies.
Negotiations begin on Wednesday between ITA and trade union representatives over what the company describes as “new working conditions in line with market practices”, with new employment contracts to ensure “greater competitiveness and flexibility in comparison with other operators in the sector.”
Alitalia currently has a staff of 11,000.
Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that 2,800 people will be employed in ITA’s aviation unit this year, with this number possibly rising to 5,750 in 2025 if the company wins the tender for Alitalia’s ground handling and maintenance divisions.
La Repubblica also reports that all employees of ITA will be obliged to have the ‘Green Pass’ certificate which shows that people have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from covid-19.
The upcoming launch of ITA follows breakthrough talks in July between Italy and the European Commission after months of negotiations over how to carve out a role for the new carrier and make it independent of the struggling Alitalia.
The move to keep ITA separate from Alitalia is to ensure it would not be liable for paying back billions of euro the old carrier had received in state aid, Reuters reports.
The new carrier will reportedly begin operations with an initial capital of €700 million which it will use to buy assets from Alitalia, with aims to break even by the third quarter of 2023.
ITA will start off with a fleet of 52 planes, with the number of aircraft rising to 78 next year and reaching 105 by the end of 2025, reports Italian news agency ANSA.
ITA will inherit only part of Alitalia’s flight slots, Reuters reports, obtaining 85 per cent of Alitalia slots at Milan’s Linate airport and 43 per cent of slots at Fiumicino in Rome.
Italy’s transport minister Enrico Giovannini said in July that the new company would be competitive both nationally and internationally, and that it has “significant growth prospects.”
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