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Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA): new culture vital to shed Alitalia legacy

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The first flight of Europe's newest airline took off from Milan Linate at 6.20am on 15-Oct-2021, bound for Bari.

The domestic Italian service was the first flight of Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA Airways), successor to Alitalia as Italy's national airline. After more than three years in special administration Alitalia's last flight was on 14-Oct-2021, although its ground operations continue to provide handling and maintenance services.

ITA's main hub is Rome Fiumicino, with Milan Linate an additional business travel hub and Milan Malpensa offering some long haul destinations over time. Starting with 52 aircraft, versus Alitalia's 83, ITA aims to grow its fleet to 105 by 2025.

The new airline is wholly owned by the Italian state and it is also seeking investment from a major airline. As only the fourth biggest operator in Italy (with just 8% of seats, while Ryanair has 39%, Wizz Air and easyJet 9% each), a strategic partner for ITA could be important.

If ITA is to escape Alitalia's legacy of consistent losses, however, it must adopt a new, more efficient and flexible culture. There is no other way to compete with LCCs.

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