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Italian airline Alitalia says it will refund tickets booked after October 15th

As new flag-carrier ITA prepares to take off, airline Alitalia will soon cease trading and has confirmed that it will exchange or refund tickets.

Alitalia will stop flying on October 15th. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

The new airline will start flying on October 15, after receiving the green light from Italy’s civil authorities last week, with tickets going on sale on August 26, ITA announced in a statement.

Alitalia meanwhile said that from midnight Tuesday it will stop selling tickets for flights from October 15, with customers who have already booked after that point able to change to an earlier flight or receive a refund.

The airline stated on social media that it would send a “direct communication” to all customers with further instructions.

Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper estimated that some 255,000 people have tickets booked with Alitalia after that date.

The board of directors of ITA meanwhile made a binding offer to buy 52 of Alitalia’s aircraft, as well as airport slots and other assets.

READ ALSO: ITA: What does Italy’s new national airline mean for travellers?

Loss-making Alitalia was placed under state administration in 2017 but Italy has struggled to find an investor to take it over. The situation was only exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic that grounded airlines worldwide.

Earlier this year Italy said it had reached an agreement with the European Union for a bailout that creates a new debt-free company to take over some of Alitalia’s assets.

The Italian government has created a 100-million-euro ($117-million) fund to reimburse Alitalia customers.

An Alitalia plane sat on the tarmac at Milan’s Linate airport. Photo: GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP

ITA’s scheduled debut comes amid serious challenges for the airline industry that was battered during the coronavirus pandemic, especially larger carriers already struggling to compete against low-cost airlines.

ITA has indicated it will make Rome Fiumicino its main international hub, with Milan Linate its second-biggest airport.

Its preliminary business plan includes 61 routes in 2021 to 45 different destinations, chiefly other European capitals including Paris, London, Amsterdam and Brussels.

Its long-haul routes will focus on major airports in the United States and Japan, including New York, Boston, Miami and Tokyo. 

READ ALSO: What are my rights in Italy if a flight is cancelled or delayed?

It will also fly domestically between 21 airports in Italy, allowing people travelling to or from smaller airports such as Venice, Genoa, Verona, Florence, Naples and Bari to connect to international flights in Rome or Milan.

By 2025 the airline hopes to add nearly 30 new destinations, including Washington DC, Los Angeles, Sao Paolo and Buenos Aires.

It has said that it aims to become “the first choice on international destinations to and from Rome Fiumicino”.

Member comments

  1. Does anyone know what will happen to the miles? I have a decent amount of miles, and my ability to use them between now and October is very limited.

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STRIKES

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this February

Travellers are once again set to face serious disruption as Italy will experience a new round of transport strikes in February. Here's what you can expect in the coming weeks.

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this February

Travel to, from and across Italy was disrupted by dozens of strikes in January

And, while many travellers might have hoped for a change in the trend, strikes are set to continue into February as Italian unions have already announced a further round of demonstrations affecting rail and public transport services as well as airline travel.

Here’s an overview of February’s main strike actions, including a national public transport strike on Friday, February 17th and another nationwide walkout from airport ground staff on Tuesday, February 28th.

Public transport

February 17th: Public transport staff will take part in a national 24-hour strike on Friday, February 17th. 

The strike was called in late January by Italian union USB (Unione Sindacale di Base) to protest against precarious work and “wild privatisation” attempts on the part of the Italian state.

READ ALSO: Should you travel in Italy when there’s a strike on?

There currently aren’t any details as to what percentage of workers will take part in the action. As such, the amount of disruption travellers should expect on the day cannot be estimated yet. 

Air travel

February 12th: Air traffic control staff at Perugia’s San Francesco d’Assisi airport will take part in a 24-hour strike action on Sunday, February 12th. 

It isn’t yet clear how the walkout in question will affect air travel to and from the airport on the day.

Travellers at an Italian airport

A national strike from ground service staff may cause delays and queues at many Italian airports on Tuesday, February 28th. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

February 28th: Baggage handlers and other airport ground service staff will take part in a national 24-hour strike on Tuesday, February 28th. 

It isn’t yet clear how the strike will affect air travel during the day, though a similar demonstration caused significant delays and queues at some Italian airports in late January.

ENAV air traffic operators based in Calabria are also expected to strike on February 28th, with the walkout set to start at 1pm and end at 5pm.

Rail

February 5th-6th: Calabria-based Trenitalia staff will strike from 9pm on Sunday, February 5th to 9pm the following day. 

A list of guaranteed services in the region is available here.

February 9th: Staff from Lombardy’s Trenord will take part in a 22-hour strike – from 2am to 11.50pm – on Thursday, February 9th.

Empty train platform in Codogno, Lombardy

Staff from Lombardy’s regional railway operator Trenord will strike for 22 hours on Thursday, February 9th. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

It’s currently unclear whether Trenord will operate minimum services on the day. Any information regarding the strike will be released on the following website page

February 12th-13th: Trenitalia staff in Emilia-Romagna will strike from 3.30am on Sunday, February 12th to 2.30am on Monday, February 13th.

A list of guaranteed services in the region is available here.

February 19th: Veneto-based Trenitalia staff will strike from 9am to 5pm on Sunday, February 19th. 

Guaranteed services are available here.

On the same day, there will be no service between Milan’s Milano Centrale station and Paris’s Gare de Lyon due to a strike from staff at France’s national railway company SNCF.

READ ALSO: Trains and planes: Italy’s new international travel routes in 2023

February 20th: Trenitalia personnel in Lombardy are expected to strike from 9am to 5pm on Monday, February 20th. 

Guaranteed services haven’t been made available yet. 

You can keep up to date with the latest strike news from Italy HERE.

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