(CNN) – There’s a week left until the new airline launches to the world, and it promises to bring some dolce vita back to the sky.
From October 15, ITA – Italia Trasporto Aereo – will be the new Italian public carrier, after the closure of Alitalia’s bankruptcy on October 14.
It has been preparing for a while. Alitalia has been floundering for years, and more recently there has been a debate as to whether ITA was a separate enough company to take over while getting rid of Alitalia’s debts.
But in September, the EU decided that ITA and Alitalia are separate companies, which means ITA can start from scratch.
Information is scarce, but here’s what we know so far.
Who owns ITA?
Where will he fly?
It was assumed that ITA would take over most, if not all, of Alitalia’s niches. Alitalia served 94 destinations, including 26 in Italy.
However, from its website, the ITA will take off slowly. The itineraries on sale for immediate travel are as follows.
Italy: Brindisi, Bologna, Bari, Catania, Rome, Genoa, Milan Linate, Naples, Palermo, Pescara, Reggio Calabria, Lamezia Terme, Trieste, Turin, Venice, Verona.
Short and medium haul: Algiers, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Brussels, Cairo, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, London Heathrow, Madrid, Malta, Munich, Nice, Paris (Charles de Gaulle and Orly), Tirana, Tel Aviv, Tunis, Zurich.
Long-haul: Tokyo, New-York.
There is more on the cards. Buenos Aires, Miami, Boston and São Paulo will be added from March 2022, as well as Luxembourg, Stuttgart and Florence. Other European destinations are planned for summer 2022, as well as Los Angeles.
On October 5, the airline opened sales of flights to the United States with great fanfare. Alitalia has traveled all the routes it has chosen, as well as Rome to Chicago. The ITA has asked to add flights to Chicago, Francisco, San Francisco and Washington DC in the future.
The fact that the ITA has sent out a press release about its flights to the United States implies that it might want to focus on long-haul business. This will provide relief to some who feared that Alitalia’s national focus was the key to its downfall.
Will it take Alitalia’s planes?
Not all the time. One of the rare decisions announced by the ITA is to have a fleet made up exclusively of Airbus. The airline has announced that it will buy 28 new planes and lease 45 more, on terms, it says, more favorable than those of Alitalia.
The first new jets will enter the fleet in early 2022, and by the end of 2025, it is said that 70% of the fleet will be new generation aircraft, less damaging to the environment.
It plans to start with 52 and increase to 105 by 2025.
However, it is far. In its DoT dossier, the ITA wrote that before taking off on October 15, it would have acquired “certain assets (such as airplanes) from Alitalia”. So expect things to be the same at first.
Is ITA the final name?
Not necessarily. In the same case, the ITA declared that it would “participate in a public tender to acquire the Alitalia brand”. There is no idea when it might be.
Will it continue the Alitalia loyalty program?
ITA will take over many old Alitalia routes.
Fabrizio Gandolfo / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images
No, the EU did not allow it. However, in a statement, ITA announced a “new loyalty program” which “can potentially be integrated with those of other industry partners,” and which is “completely focused on customer needs for flexibility and affordability. to thefts “. There is no sign yet of the covenant with which he will sign, if any.
Who will design the uniforms?
That’s the question everyone wants to know, but the ITA is keeping the schtum – a spokesperson declined to share details with CNN. However, be hopeful that they will be decent – this is Italy, after all. In 2018, despite its bankruptcy, Alitalia shelled out a new crew uniform designed by Alberta Ferretti. The ITA logo is certainly very chic.
How are the rates?
Competitive. A return flight from JFK to Rome on the dates we chose in November cost $ 498. That’s compared to $ 505 on Delta. Meanwhile, a trip from Milan to London cost $ 98 round trip, compared to $ 120 on British Airways. For those wishing to travel to airports further away than Heathrow, Ryanair only charged $ 22 round trip and easyJet only charged $ 41. This short-haul competition will be the biggest challenge for the ITA.
What is the Covid-19 protocol?
The ITA has announced that all its staff must be vaccinated long before Italy makes vaccination compulsory for workers across the country. Temperatures will be taken before the flight, and passengers will need to wear masks. No clothing can be stored in the upper lockers, and people will be boarded in small groups.
Business class lounges are currently closed, but those authorized to access them will receive a voucher to use at airport food and beverage outlets.
The ITA claims that thanks to HEPA filters, the air on board is as sterile as an operating room and changes every three minutes.
Will he survive?
That’s what everyone hopes to know, and the short-haul competition will be their biggest challenge. But with a new fleet, new energy, new leadership and no debt, it certainly has a better chance than Alitalia. With only 16 Italian destinations and 22 more distant to begin with, it is moving step by step.
Top image credit: Filippo Monteforte / Getty Images