Italian flag carrier ITA Airways is set to receive a further cash injection of €400 million ($400 million) from the Italian Government. According to sources, the funds will be available to the airline by the end of this month.
When ITA Airways’ predecessor Alitalia ceased operations on October 15th, 2021, it had accumulated debts totaling over €11 billion ($11 billion). Following the carrier’s demise, the Italian Government was approved by the European Union to continue to support a state-owned airline, but on a smaller scale and with more limited public funding.
The European Union authorized a total investment in ITA Airways of up to €1.35 billion ($1.35 billion). Following an initial spend of €700 million ($700 million), this latest cash injection brings the total so far invested to €1.1 billion ($1.1 billion) – it remains to be seen if and when the remaining possible €250 million ($250 million) will be needed.
Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying
Since January 2022, privatization talks have been ongoing with a number of interested parties, including Lufthansa, Delta Air Lines, and Air France-KLM. Discussions have stalled over the past few weeks, and in a bid to kickstart the process, the Italian Government recently ended exclusivity for Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM, and reopened negotiations with Lufthansa.
Ongoing network expansion – where is next for ITA Airways?
The €400 million ($400 million) cash injection will support ITA Airways’ continued growth. Earlier this week, ITA Airways operated its inaugural flight to Tokyo Haneda (HND) from its hub at Rome Fiumicino International Airport (FCO). In December, the carrier will also launch new long-haul routes to Delhi (DEL) and Malé (MLE), and there is talk of further expansion in Asia in the future.
Although no other destinations have been confirmed, looking at Alitalia’s route network may give some indication as to potential expansion for ITA Airways, with flights both Osaka (KIX) and Seoul (ICN) being previously operated by the former flag carrier. Alitalia also flew directly to a variety of destinations across the Atlantic, including Chicago (ORD), San Francisco (SFO), and Santiago de Chile (SCL).
A growing fleet of Airbus aircraft
ITA Airways currently has 66 aircraft in its all-Airbus fleet, and is awaiting delivery of 72 more, including 15 Airbus A330neos and 20 Airbus A321neos. The SkyTeam member’s current flagship aircraft is the Airbus A350-900, of which it has six, with two more on order.
Photo: Getty Images
The Airbus A350-900 is used on long-haul routes including to New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX), and Buenos Aires (EZE). Each aircraft seats a total of 334 passengers in a two-class configuration – 33 in business class and 301 in economy class.
What do you think about the Italian Government investing another €400 million ($400 million) in ITA Airways? How do you see the money being used by the airline? Do you believe that ITA Airways should be privatized? Share your thoughts by commenting below.
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Rome Fiumicino Airport
- Year Founded:
- Fabio Lazzerini