There is great tension between Alitalia and ITA (Italia Trasporto Aereo), the new airline that will displace the iconic but deficient Italian airline on October 15, a change date set by the Italian government in cooperation with the European Commission which oversees the process to ensure that everything is done in accordance with European Union state aid laws. The irritation, according to Italian media, arises because the former airline would continue to sell tickets for dates after October 15, which caused the new operator to be warned: “There will be no reserved seats on ITA flights for those who buy from Alitalia”. However, the old company made a clarification. Last Wednesday at midnight, it stopped selling tickets for flights after that date. Indeed, Alitalia will gradually close its operations and will disappear definitively on October 14..
ITA has in recent days received the green light to fly from the Italian civil aviation authority ENAC (Ente Nazionale Aviazione Civile) with the obtaining of its license and Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) for takeoff. This certificate is not only necessary to operate flights, but it is also essential to sell tickets, which should start this Thursday, August 26, through the itaspa.com portal, travel agencies and at airport counters.
This first website is temporary, created to allow customers to make reservations in accordance with what is defined in the agreement between the European Commission and the Italian government. ITA is already planning the creation, after the start of operations, of a completely new website, with more innovative technologies and tools that will offer customers “a renewed experience”.
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Sources from the Italian airline sector pointed out that Alitalia is currently selling tickets even after the official date of its disappearance because ITA was not yet an airline from a legal point of view and therefore could not sell tickets until now.
The Italian government has released 100 million euros to allow Alitalia to reimburse all tickets sold for flights that will not be operated. According to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, 255,000 passengers will have to be reimbursed.
The European Commission has long been in talks with the Italian government over its plan to create a new airline that could replace Alitalia and has clarified that this could only work if the new operator is completely independent of the old one. “ITA must be a real company, so there must be a discontinuity, otherwise ITA would be responsible for Alitalia,” EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said at the time.
Now, after the opening of its sales, ITA will focus on completing the purchase of Alitalia’s assets from the aviation unit, as well as preparing for participation in the public tender for the purchase of other assets which have been excluded from private sale by the intervention of the European Union, in particular the units of handling and maintenance of the old society.
Alitalia has informed on its website, through a brief statement, that from midnight today (Wednesday August 25) it will stop selling tickets for flights departing October 15. The company will email passengers who booked after this date, ensuring they can reschedule the flight or receive a full refund.
Text of the statement: “Alitalia, under extraordinary administration, as of midnight today, will no longer sell tickets for flights from October 15. At the same time, it will send prompt and direct communication, by e- mail, to customers who have purchased flights departing on or after October 15. The note will contain instructions for ticket management. In order to ensure full consumer protection, it will be possible to replace the flight with an equivalent flight operated by Alitalia before October 14; Otherwise, a full refund of the ticket will also be possible”.
Digital and sustainable
ITA will take off on October 15 with just 52 aircraft and about 3,000 employees. The new company has convened the unions for this Wednesday, August 25, at 10:30 a.m., to begin negotiating new working conditions in line with market practices and conditions.
In addition, ITA adopts a policy that all employees must obtain a Green Pass, in accordance with anti-COVID-19 procedures, in order to protect their health and that of customers.
Likewise, the airline has reiterated in its Business Plan its decision to standardize its fleet and, to this end, it intends to start the renewal process as soon as possible, replacing it with new generation aircraft that are more efficient and respectful of the environment. the environment. The decision on the composition of the future ITA fleet will be taken and communicated in September.
The airline has also completed the design of an innovative new loyalty program, fully focused on the customer’s needs for flexibility and accessibility to flights, and plans to start the process of choosing the technology provider soon to manage the program.
ITA CEO and General Manager, Fabio Lazzerini, concluded: “In recent days, with the certifications obtained from ENAC, we have reached an important milestone in the history of ITA. We are now gearing up to achieve another critical outcome: the start of sales. We must now achieve new and complex objectives in view of the launch of operations on October 15 and many projects must be completed to create an efficient and sustainable digital airline, able to face the challenges of the future with flexibility and in total discontinuity with the past. ”.
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