ITA: All you’ll want to find out about Italy’s new airline

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(CNN) — There is a week to go earlier than the world’s latest airline launches, and it is promising to deliver some dolce vita again to the skies.

From October 15, ITA — Italia Trasporto Aereo — would be the new state-owned provider for Italy, following the closure of bankrupt Alitalia on October 14.

It has been some time within the making. Alitalia has been floundering for years, and extra just lately there’s been debate as as to whether ITA was a separate sufficient firm to take over whereas shedding Alitalia’s money owed.

However in September, the EU dominated that ITA and Alitalia are separate firms, which means ITA can begin afresh.

Data is scarce, however here is what we all know to this point.

Who owns ITA?

Italia Trasporto Aereo is “wholly owned by the Italian Ministry of Economic system and Finance,” based on its submitting with the US Division of Transport. The intention, it says, is to create “an environment friendly, modern and aggressive airline.”

The place will it fly?

It had been assumed that ITA will take over most, if not all, of Alitalia’s slots. Alitalia served 94 locations, 26 of which have been in Italy.

Nevertheless, from its web site, ITA will begin slowly. Routes on sale for quick journey are as follows.

Italy: Brindisi, Bologna, Bari, Catania, Rome, Genoa, Milan Linate, Naples, Palermo, Pescara, Reggio Calabria, Lamezia Terme, Trieste, Turin, Venice, Verona.

Brief- and medium-haul: Algiers, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Brussels, Cairo, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, London Heathrow, Madrid, Malta, Munich, Good, Paris (Charles de Gaulle and Orly), Tirana, Tel Aviv, Tunis, Zurich.

Lengthy-haul: Tokyo, New York.

There are extra on the playing cards. Buenos Aires, Miami, Boston and São Paulo can be added from March 2022, together with Luxembourg, Stuttgart and Florence. Extra European locations are scheduled for summer time 2022, together with Los Angeles.

On October 5, the airline opened gross sales for flights to the US with main fanfare. Alitalia flew all of the routes it has picked, in addition to Rome to Chicago. ITA has requested so as to add flights to Chicago, Francisco, San Francisco and Washington DC sooner or later.

The truth that ITA despatched out a press launch about its US flights implies it may be eager to concentrate on long-haul enterprise. That’ll come as a aid to some who have been involved that Alitalia’s home focus was key to its downfall.

Will it take Alitalia’s airplanes?

Not completely. One of many few choices ITA has introduced is to have a fleet solely comprising Airbus. The airline has introduced it should purchase 28 new plane, and lease 45 extra — on phrases, it says, extra favorable than Alitalia’s.

The primary new jets will enter the fleet in early 2022, and by late 2025, it says that 70% of the fleet can be new-generation plane, that are much less damaging for the surroundings.

It plans to begin with 52, and improve to 105 by 2025.

Nevertheless, that is a manner off. In its DoT submitting, ITA wrote that earlier than it takes to the skies on October 15, it should have acquired “sure property (reminiscent of plane) from Alitalia.” So anticipate issues to look pretty comparable in the beginning.

Is ITA the ultimate identify?

Not essentially. In that very same submitting, ITA stated it was going to “take part in a public tender to amass the Alitalia model.” There isn’t any clue on when that may be.

Will it proceed the Alitalia loyalty program?

ITA will take over many of Alitalia's old routes.

ITA will take over a lot of Alitalia’s outdated routes.

Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Photos/LightRocket/Getty Photos

No — the EU didn’t permit this. Nevertheless, in a press launch, ITA introduced a “new loyalty program” that “can probably be built-in with these of different industrial companions,” and which is “completely targeted on the shopper wants of flexibility and accessibility to flights.” There isn’t any signal but of which alliance it will signal with, if any.

Who will design the uniforms?

That is the query everybody needs to know, however ITA is holding schtum — a spokesperson declined to share particulars with CNN. Nevertheless, maintain out hope that they will be first rate — that is Italy, in any case. In 2018, regardless of being bankrupt, Alitalia shelled out on a brand new uniform for crew designed by Alberta Ferretti. The ITA brand is actually very stylish.

What are the fares like?

Aggressive. A return flight from JFK to Rome on dates we picked in November price $498. That is in comparison with $505 on Delta. In the meantime, a visit from Milan to London was pricing at $98 roundtrip, in comparison with $120 on British Airways. For these prepared to journey to airports additional out than Heathrow, Ryanair was charging simply $22 round-trip, and easyJet simply $41. That short-haul competitors would be the greatest problem for ITA.

What is the Covid-19 protocol?

ITA introduced that each one its workers have to be vaccinated effectively earlier than Italy made vaccination obligatory for staff throughout the nation. Temperatures can be taken earlier than the flight, and passengers should put on masks. No garments might be saved within the overhead lockers, and other people can be boarded in small teams.

The business-class lounges are presently closed, however these entitled to entry can be given a coupon to make use of at airport meals shops.

ITA claims that because of HEPA filters, the air onboard is as sterile as an working room, and is renewed each three minutes.

Will it survive?

That is what everybody’s hoping to know, and the short-haul competitors can be its greatest problem. However with a brand new fleet, new power, new management and no money owed, this actually has a greater probability than Alitalia did. With simply 16 Italian locations and 22 additional afield to begin with, it’s taking issues one step at a time.

Prime picture credit score: Filippo Monteforte/Getty Photos

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