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ITA Airways
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded11 November 2020; 2 years ago (2020-11-11)
Commenced operations15 October 2021; 21 months ago (2021-10-15)
AOC #IT.AOC.0194[3]
Focus citiesMilan–Linate
Frequent-flyer programVolare
Fleet size72
Parent company
HeadquartersRome, Italy
Key peopleFabio Lazzerini (CEO)
Employees3,600 [4]

Italia Trasporto Aereo S.p.A. (pronounced [iˈtaːlja traˈspɔrto aˈɛːreo]), trading as ITA Airways, is the flag carrier of Italy.[5] It is majority owned (59%) by the Government of Italy via the Ministry of Economy and Finance with the remaining stake being held by Lufthansa Group (41%).[6][7] The airline flies to over 60 scheduled domestic, European, and intercontinental destinations. ITA Airways is a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance with its hub in Rome-Fiumicino and Milan-Linate as its focus city.



Main article: Alitalia

Italy's flag carrier Alitalia had been in operation since 1946. It was owned by the Italian government until 2009, when it became a private company after reorganizing and merging with the bankrupt Italian airline Air One.[8] Alitalia reorganized again in 2015 after receiving an investment from Etihad Airways, with Air France-KLM Group already owning a minority stake.[9][10] With multiple failed attempts to make the airline profitable, the airline was placed under extraordinary administration in 2017 just days after Etihad Airways ended its support of Alitalia.[11] On 17 May 2017, after the government ruled out nationalizing the airline, it was officially put on the auction block.[12]

After multiple failed negotiations with Delta Air Lines, EasyJet, Italian railway company Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, and China Eastern Airlines, the Italian government took ownership of the airline in March 2020.[13][14] The government takeover was due in part to the belief the airline would not be able to survive the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its own.[15] On 10 October 2020, the Italian government signed a decree to allow the airline to reorganize as Italia Trasporto Aereo S.p.A.[16]


On 28 October 2020, it was reported that ITA was expected to buy several assets from Alitalia – Società Aerea Italiana S.p.A., including the brand and the flight codes of Alitalia and Alitalia CityLiner, the IATA ticketing code (055), the MilleMiglia frequent-flyer program, and airport slots at London Heathrow (68 weekly slots in summer and 65 in winter). The transaction was expected to cost €220 million.[17]

However, on 8 January 2021, the European Commission sent a letter to the Italian Permanent Representative to the European Union calling for Italy to launch an "open, transparent, non-discriminatory and unconditional tender" to shed Alitalia assets.[18] The letter consisted of 62 requests for clarification, rejecting the idea that the old carrier could sell its assets to the new company with no open bidding. The letter stated that ITA should not retain the Alitalia brand, since the brand is an emblematic indicator of continuity. The European Commission suggested that the combined aviation, ground handling, and maintenance businesses should be sold separately to a third party. It also suggested that slots must be sold, and that the MilleMiglia program in its entirety could not be transferred to the new corporate entity.[19]

On 26 August 2021, ITA officially opened ticket sales on its newly launched website.[20]

On 27 August 2021, ITA applied for an Exemption and a Foreign Air Carrier Permit with the United States Department of Transportation.[21] The document noted the airline's intention to start flying to New York-JFK, Boston and Miami in 2021, Los Angeles and Washington-Dulles in 2022, and Chicago-O'Hare and San Francisco in 2023. The same document stated that prior to the start of its flight operations, planned for 15 October 2021, ITA would acquire certain assets from Alitalia – Società Aerea Italiana S.p.A., and that ITA would also participate in a public tender to acquire the "Alitalia" brand.

On 30 September 2021, ITA announced that it would work with Airbus as a "strategic partner", providing details of its fleet plans.[22][23] The airline announced a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus for the purchase of 10 Airbus A330neo, 7 Airbus A220 and 11 Airbus A320neo aircraft, for a total of 28, along with an agreement with Air Lease Corporation to lease an additional 31 new Airbus aircraft, including the Airbus A350-900.[24][23]

On 22 October 2021, former Alitalia employees who had not been rehired protested against ITA. Women at the demonstration shouted slogans wearing only white nightgowns. Company CEO Alfredo Altavilla called the protest "a national shame".[25]

ITA officially joined the SkyTeam alliance on 29 October 2021, but for the time being only for one year, until new owners have been found and a long-term strategy has been made.[26]

Starting on 2 December 2021, ITA started carrying flights with the Pope when making pastoral and state visits to a country starting with Pope Francis, replacing Alitalia for most outbound papal flights.[27] The Pope's flight is often nicknamed "Shepherd One" by the press, while the actual callsign is "Volo Papale" (papal flight, in Italian) followed by a serial number.[28]

On 24 January 2022, ITA announced that MSC Group and Lufthansa had expressed an interest in becoming majority owners of the Italian airline, with the Italian Government keeping a minority stake.[29][30] On 10 March 2022, fellow SkyTeam members Delta Air Lines and the Air France–KLM group also expressed interest in investing in ITA, by teaming up with investment firm Certares.[31] Indigo Partners also expressed interest, leaving a total of three interested parties.[32][33] After the deadline ended on 23 May 2022, only MSC/Lufthansa and Air France-KLM/Certares bid for ITA.[34] As of 31 August 2022, the Italian government has stated their preference for the Air France-KLM/Certares bid, initiating exclusive talks with the group.[35] On 19 January 2023 Lufthansa submitted a bid to the Italian Government to begin acquiring a minority share in the airline, with the intention of purchasing the remaining shares over an extended period of time and having the airline join the larger Lufthansa Group.[36] On 27 January 2023, the Italian government and Lufthansa signed a letter of intent over the sale of a minority stake, paving the way for exclusive negotiations with the German carrier. [37]

In its first year of operation, the airline carried 9 million passengers.[38]

Corporate affairs

Logo and livery

ITA Airways Airbus A330-200

On 15 October 2021, the day flight operations began, ITA Airways' new brand was also presented. Its aircraft livery features a renewed design and new color scheme, with a blue fuselage and white engines, a white "ITA Airways" logo positioned between the first two exit doors, and the Italian tricolor at the end of the tail. The “Alitalia” brand, though not currently used, was purchased for potential future marketing operations and to prevent its use by competitors.[39]

Ownership and corporate office

ITA is part owned by the Italian government via the Ministry of Economy and Finance. As such, the airline's corporate offices are located in the ministry.[40][41] The airline's Chief executive officer is Fabio Lazzerini. In 2023, Lufthansa Group reached agreement on the acquisition of a 41 percent stake in ITA Airways[42]


Main article: List of ITA Airways destinations

As of March 2023, ITA Airways serves 64 destinations, in Italy, Europe, North Africa, Asia, North and South America.

ITA plans to serve 74 destinations and 89 routes by 2025.[43]


ITA Airways has been a member of the SkyTeam alliance since 29 October 2021.[44]

Codeshare agreements

ITA Airways codeshares with the following airlines:[45]

Interline agreements

ITA Airways has interline agreements with the following airlines:[68]


Current fleet

As of June 2023, ITA Airways operates an all-Airbus fleet, most of which was inherited from Alitalia.

Aircraft In
Orders Passengers Notes
B E+ E Total Refs
Airbus A220-100 7 125 125 Deliveries start from October 2023.[73]
Airbus A220-300 4 11 148 148 All aircraft in "Born to be Sustainable" livery.
Airbus A319-100 18 144 144
Airbus A320-200 26 171 171 [74] EI-DTG in "Io sono Friuli Venezia Giulia" livery.
EI-EIB in "Born in 2021" livery.
EI-EIE with "Rome 2030 EXPO candidate" stickers.
180 180
Airbus A320neo 8 20 180 180 First Italian operator.
Airbus A321neo 9 12 12 141 165 Deliveries start in August 2023.[75][76]
Airbus A330-200 8 20 17 219 256 [77] To be phased out.[citation needed]
Airbus A330-900 4 13 30 24 237 291 [78] First Italian operator.
Airbus A350-900 6 33 301 334 [79] First Italian operator.
EI-IFD in "Born to be Sustainable" livery.[80]
Total 74 65

Fleet development

ITA Airways Airbus A350-900
ITA Airways Airbus A220-300 in "Born to be Sustainable" livery

Announced on 30 September 2021, ITA Airways signed an agreement with Airbus with an order for 10 Airbus A330neo, 11 Airbus A320neo and 7 Airbus A220. ITA Airways also announced an agreement with Air Lease Corporation and other aircraft leasing companies to take up 56 aircraft, including the Airbus A220, Airbus A320neo, Airbus A321neo, Airbus A321LR, Airbus A330neo, and Airbus A350.[22][23][24][75] The company proposed the Airbus A321LR for long-haul destinations in the Middle East (like Kuwait City, Riyadh, Jeddah) and Central Africa (like Dakar, Addis Ababa). In addition, the new long-haul fleet will enable the airline to operate new future routes to destinations in the Americas like Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, and Seattle/Tacoma, on top of confirmed new routes to San Francisco, Washington DC and Rio de Janeiro.[81]

On 15 October 2021, ITA Airways took acquisition of 49 aircraft from Alitalia in the wake of that airline's shutdown on 14 October 2021, including 18 Airbus A319-100s, 25 A320-200s, and 6 A330-200s. These aircraft joining the fleet were in addition to the 2 A320-200 and the 1 A330-200 already under the ITA Airways AOC. This addition of these 49 aircraft brought ITA’s fleet total to 52 aircraft, the planned number for the start of operations.[citation needed]

Accidents and incidents


Frequent flyer program

Volare is the airline's loyalty program, through which customers accrue points based on miles flown.[84] The European Commission prohibited the airline from buying Alitalia's MilleMiglia loyalty program.[85]

See also


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  2. ^ "The Aviation Codes Website - Airline Codes beginning with". www.avcodes.co.uk. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Regulations.gov". www.regulations.gov. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  4. ^ "I numeri di Ita Airways, dai dipendenti alle rotte". 9 January 2023.
  5. ^ "ITA to start off with 2,800 workers". Ansa.it. 24 August 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  6. ^ Puckett, Jessica (5 August 2021). "What U.S. Travelers Should Know About Italy's New Airline". Conde Nast Traveler. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  7. ^ "BREAKING: Lufthansa Agrees To Buy 41% Of ITA Airways". Simple Flying. 25 May 2023. Retrieved 3 July 2023.
  8. ^ Di Leo, Luca; Sorlini, Gordon (21 November 2008). "Alitalia Rescue Plan Receives Governmental Green Light". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  9. ^ ""È arrivato il sì di Etihad", sempre più vicino l'accordo con Alitalia". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). 1 August 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  10. ^ Dinmore, Guy; Done, Kevin; Boland, Vincent (12 January 2009). "Air France-KLM buys 25% of Alitalia". Financial Times. London. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  11. ^ Ebhardt, Tommaso; Albanese, Chiara (24 April 2017). "Alitalia to Start Bankruptcy Process as Workers Spurn Bailout". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  12. ^ "Italy kicks off Alitalia sale process". Reuters. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  13. ^ "FS launches bid to acquire Alitalia". International Railway Journal. 2 November 2018.
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  15. ^ "Rome to take full control of Alitalia in June: minister". Reuters. 23 April 2020. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
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