Italian airline Alitalia will cease operations from October 15 as it will be replaced by the state-owned ITA (Italia Trasporto Aereo) company. The latter will start selling tickets from August 26, having been given the go-ahead from Italian civil authorities last week.
Meanwhile, Alitalia customers are advised to either book their flights before the October 15 deadline or request compensation. The airline has set aside €100 million backed by the government, which will be used to recover funds from the airline’s customers, TheSchengen.com reports.
“From 8/25 midnight, Alitalia will no longer sell tickets for flights starting 10/15. It will be possible to rebook the flight within 10/14 or request a full refund. Soon a direct communication will be sent,” Alitalia wrote in a notice. To all customers with further instructions.
Furthermore, the airline notes that passengers with an Alitalia ticket starting with “055” purchased from Alitalia Markets before August 24 have more payment options.
According to Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera, there are about 250,000 passengers who have booked their flights after October 15.
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Alitalia ceased its activity due to lack of investment. In addition, the company was put under general management in 2017, while the epidemiological situation aggravated the situation further. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline saw a traffic volume of 21.3 million passengers, with 81 different destinations and 3,600 weekly flights.
Last year, the European Union Commission offered €199.45 million in financing to Alitalia, as the company, which was Italy’s largest airline in the pre-pandemic period, was hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. Travel restrictions and other measures put in place to protect people from COVID-19 have caused Alitalia to experience the lowest passenger demand shortage ever recorded by the company.
A few months later, by the beginning of 2021, the European Union approved another aid for Alitalia, which awarded 73 million euros in funds in an effort to help the company avoid bankruptcy.
Moreover, publicly owned ITA, which intends to increase its aircraft number to 105 by 2025, will buy all 52 Alitalia aircraft and start operating flights to Europe, New York, Miami, Tokyo and other global destinations.
On the other hand, there are about five million miles of the MilleMiglia loyalty program, under which free airline miles are awarded to those who fly with Alitalia frequently.
Under the rules of the European Commission, the loyalty program must be put up for tender, which means that the air miles become loyalty points for a different type of reward, for example, supermarket loyalty points. However, for those who wish to use these loyalty points for charitable use, the American organization Miles for Migrants is open to donation. The accumulated funds are used for migrants who leave their countries due to wars or other conflicts as the world is witnessing recently with Afghanistan.
EUROCONTROL, the European Organization for Safety and Air Navigation, revealed that air traffic for May 2021 decreased by 61 per cent compared to the same period in 2019. However, according to Eamon Brennan, President of EUROCONTROL, the number of flights should be. Increase from 39 to 57 per cent in August for global traffic to see a glimpse of recovery this year.