By Vincenzo Claudio Piscopo
Alitalia Could Return as a Subsidiary of ITA Airways
In the hearing at the Italian Transport Committee of the Chamber of Deputies a few days ago, ITA Airways President Alfredo Altavilla stated that the brand of old national airline Alitalia could be reused. The statement, however, comes after much pressure put on the “waste” of 90 million euros ($102 million) of public money for the purchase of the Alitalia brand, which might not otherwise be used. The original reason for the purchase aimed at removing the brand from the market is no longer true.
This announcement clashes with the European Commission’s demand for discontinuity with Alitalia’s nefarious past. The latest statements by the management of ITA Airways seem to be very much at odds with what has been said so far. President Altavilla and airline CEO Fabio Lazzerini have always been very clear in reiterating that the Alitalia brand represented “the past” and not a path that the airline would pursue again. Is their initial project of a single airline focused mainly on long-haul to North America and placed within an international alliance, perhaps giving way to other projects?
At the moment the plan to bring back Alitalia as a subsidiary of ITA Airways, as a low-cost airline is only speculation. This news has not been confirmed by the management of ITA Airways, but it could be very good news for all Italian passengers who, to make a domestic flight, have always been “forced” to choose non-Italian airlines (see Ryanair, Easyjet or Wizzair). The choice has always been “forced” by the prices, generally much more advantageous than those of the past and current Italian national airlines. This is why the “new adventure” of Alitalia, offering reduced prices for domestic flights, could bring many Italians to start traveling with the national carrier again.
On the other hand, this business model is already used by many other airlines, such as Lufthansa (Eurowings), IAG (Vueling) and Air France–KLM (Transavia), just to name a few.
On Jan. 19, ITA Airways introduced two Lounge Areas, one at Rome Fiumicino Airport and one at Milan Linate Airport. Access is granted to all passengers with a Business Class ticket, Premium and Executive members of the “Volare” loyalty program and Elite Plus SkyTeam members departing to destinations served by ITA Airways.
Besides, ITA Airways presented its new digital newsstand service, created thanks to the partnership with ‘PressReader’. The service is offered free of charge to passengers and will allow them to access directly from their device to more than 7,000 titles, including newspapers and magazines from 120 countries in more than 60 languages, without any limit.