flights

Four ministers of Italy’s centre-left government late Friday signed a decree to found a publicly owned new national aviation company as an anticipated 3-billion-euro state bailout of loss-making airline Alitalia picks up speed.

“The re-founding represents the first step towards creating a high-quality transport company that is competitive on the international market,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

This was the “cornerstone for the revitalization of Italian air traffic.”

Alitalia last turned a profit in 2002, and has been under state-controlled administration since May 2017.
Key managers for the new airline were also named on Friday. They are to draw up a new industrial plan

within 30 days which must be approved by the European Commission, which polices state aid in the European Union.

Italian Transport Minister Paola De Micheli has said the industrial plan would have a five-year outlook and

aim to avoid any substantial downsizing, with no job cuts and a fleet of “more than 100” aeroplanes, down from the current 113.

De Micheli mentioned the name “ITAliana” for the new carrier on Facebook. She spoke of an “industrial

company serving the country” that should stimulate tourism. Media reports referred to another potential
name, “Alitalia Ita.”

The government has announced that a state-dominated airline should only be a
transitional phenomenon.

The government has said Alitalia may be privatized again in the future, after its hoped-for recovery under public ownership.

However, widespread scepticism remains about turnaround chances for the ailing Alitalia with its 10,000

employees, after a track record over the last decades of several failed efforts to revive it and multiple state
bailouts.

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