Alitalia restarts important routes, new buyer reveals interest

Various airlines have started to resume flights to and from Italy this summer. Alitalia, which will re-establish itself as a Newco, will be ready in June to operate important routes to revive the pre-COVID-19 network.

An Alitalia A330 landing at London Heathrow Airport. Photo by Anselm Ranta | AeroNewsX

In particular, Alitalia will resume the non-stop Rome-New York service, direct flights to Spain (Rome-Madrid and Rome-Barcelona) and non-stop flights between Milan and southern Italy from 2 June . The airline will operate 36% more flights compared to May, flying on 30 routes to 25 airports, including 15 in Italy and 10 abroad.

Alitalia will operate, in addition to the 8 daily services from Rome Fiumicino:

  • 2 daily flights to and from Bari, Catania, and Palermo (except for an extension of the restrictions on air transport to and from Sicily currently in force)

  • 4 daily flights to and from Cagliari, Alghero, and Olbia

The Italian carrier will also connect its Rome Fiumicino hub to these destinations:

  • in Italy: Alghero, Bologna, Bari, Genoa, Lamezia Terme, Milan, Naples, Olbia, Pisa, Turin, Venice

  • abroad: New York, Barcelona, Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, London, Madrid, Munich, Paris, and Zurich

Alitalia also continues to organize special flights, in coordination with the Crisis Unit of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, even operating to and from airports not usually served by the airline, to repatriate Italian citizens still stranded abroad. The airline is organizing new special flights to Argentina for the next few days.

A slight improvement

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alitalia has not fully suspended its flight operations ensuring an essential public service operating, on average, more flights than the large European airlines. Despite the need to adopt a limited flight program, in the first 15 days of May, Alitalia operated about 12% of flights against an average of about 7% of flights operated by the main European flag carriers and about 2% of flights operated by the main low-cost airlines.

An Alitalia A320 at Málaga–Costa del Sol Airport. Photo by Karam Sodhi | AeroNewsX

A new offer on the table

Germán Efromovich, former President of Avianca, is interested in the purchase of Alitalia. In a letter, which Efromovich sent to the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, the magnate expressed his interest in the acquisition of the airline. In the letter, the group states that it would be interested in forming 'a possible public-private partnership with the Italian Government' to relaunch the former Italian flag carrier.

The former owner of Avianca want to promote long-haul routes and organize the airline around three pillars: aviation, maintenance, and ground services. In addition, it would be engaged in fleet renewal and an improvement of technical and human resources (ground and flight personnel).

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