By Ron Howells • 15 October 2021 • 9:09
Alitalia makes its last flight after 74 turbulent years in operation. image: Wikipedia
Italy’s bankrupt national airline, Alitalia, has made its last flight after 74 turbulent years in operation.
Alitalia, Italy’s bankrupt national airline, made its final flight on Thursday, October 15, before formally folding for good. This marks the end of business for the 74-year-old carrier and an end of an era for Italy.
A flight attendant at Rome’s Fiumicino-Leonardo da Vinci Airport thanked passengers for their loyalty before boarding the noon flight AZ1581 to Cagliari, Sardinia. The last scheduled Alitalia flight- which was the return from Cagliari, flight AZ1586,- landed at 11 p.m. on Thursday.
Alitalia, which had operated in debt for more than a decade, will be replaced by a new national carrier, ITA, or Italy Air Transport, which launches Friday with a celebratory aircraft emblazoned with “Born in 2021″ across it, according to media reports.
However, to most ordinary passengers, little may seemingly have changed overnight: On Thursday, ITA completed negotiations to purchase the Alitalia brand and the Alitalia.com domain, paying 90 million euros for the right to be called Alitalia.
The European Union’s executive commission has given the go-ahead to a $1.58-billion injection of government funding into the new airline. Unions are said to be angry that ITA has said it only plans to hire around a quarter of the estimated 10,000 Alitalia employees.
In recent weeks, Alitalia workers staged strikes and protests denouncing their treatment and what for many was just the final episode after years of crises. They cast doubt about the viability of the new airline and said its slimmed-down size, workforce, routes and fleet was presumably aimed at making it attractive for a foreign airline to buy.
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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