Alitalia shuts down after 74 years

An Alitalia Airbus A319. Photo: © Phillip Rohmberger / IFN

After years of unprofitability, Italy’s national airline Alitalia has shut down on Thursday (14th October) following its final arrivals.

The very last flight to arrive at Alitalia’s main hub, Rome Fiumicino Airport, was AZ1586 from Cagliari, operated by the Airbus A320 EI-DSV.

Alitalia was founded back in 1947, making the airline 74 years old. But its shutdown was not unexpected, as the airline was making big losses way before the Covid-19 pandemic that sent aviation into a crisis.

Despite the end of a major airline, the atmosphere stayed calm on board an Alitalia flight. But other employees, affected by layoffs, were protesting outside of Fiumicino Airport as the final flights were arriving. Parts of Alitalia’s now-gone operations will not stay without replacement.

A new national airline, initially called Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA) is already preparing to launch operations on 15th October. The carrier will be based in Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate. It recently announced an intention to order 59 new Airbus jets, including A220, A320neo and A330neo.

On Thursday evening, it was revealed that ITA will acquire the name and website of Alitalia for 90 million Euros. However, the new company will not fly under the name Alitalia.