Alitalia — Compagnia Aerea Italiana S.p.A. (English: Alitalia — Italian Air Company), operating as Alitalia, is an Italian airline, which took over the name, the landing rights, many planes and some other assets from the liquidation process of the old Alitalia — Linee Aeree Italiane and the entire Air One. The company has its head office in Fiumicino, Italy. Its main hub is Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport, Rome.
Alitalia is Italy's biggest airline, and the world's 19th. Its fleet operates under five separate Air Operator Certificates due to the CAI merger: Alitalia-CAI (Alitalia) [IATA Code AZ], CAI-First (Alitalia Express) [IATA Code XM], CAI-second (Volare Airlines) [IATA Code VE], Air One [IATA Code AP], Air One CityLiner [IATA Code CT].
On 26 August 2008 a group of Italian entrepreneurs along with Intesa Sanpaolo, one of the major Italian banks, founded Compagnia Aerea Italiana (CAI) with the aim of buying the trademark and some of the assets of the bankrupt Alitalia — Linee Aeree Italiane and to merge these with Air One, another Italian carrier. Only the Alitalia trademark would be kept for the merged company.
On 30 October 2008 CAI offered €1,100 million to acquire parts of the bankrupt airline. The offer was submitted to Alitalia's bankruptcy administrator despite refusal by some pilots and flight attendants' unions to agree to the rescue plan.
The bankruptcy administrator and the Italian government, major shareholder of Alitalia, agreed to CAI's offer on 19 November 2008. Alitalia's profitable assets were transferred to CAI on 12 December 2008 after CAI paid €1.052 billion ($1.33 billion), consisting of €427 million in cash and the assumption of responsibility for €625 million in Alitalia debt.
On 13 January 2009 the new Alitalia re-launched operations. The owners of Compagnia Aerea Italiana sold 25% of the company's shares to Air France-KLM for €322 million. Air France-KLM also obtained an option, subject to certain conditions, to purchase additional shares after 2013. The French as well as the Italian boards agreed to the sale.
In January 2010, Alitalia celebrated its first birthday since the relaunch. It carried 22 million passengers in its first year of operations. In 2010, 23.4 million passengers were carried, a 7.4% increase.
On 1 February 2010, it was announced that Alitalia crew would go on a four hour strike over wages. This was the first strike action for Alitalia since the relaunch. Alitalia representatives were not too bothered about the strike, as it was only a four hour strike and the first one in 13 months of operations. They went on to say that the company was still making great progress and should break even by 2011.
On 11 February 2010, Alitalia announced that, starting from the summer season, it would be using Air One as a "low-fare" airline, with operations based in Milan Malpensa Airport, focused on short-haul leisure routes. With initially 5 airplanes (Airbus A320), and 10 by 2012, Alitalia hopes to carry 3 million passengers in 2012 from Milan Malpensa (compared to 1.5 million in 2009), of which 2.4 million will be carried by the new Air One "Smart Carrier".
On 12 February 2011, information was released about a possible merger between Alitalia and Meridiana Fly, another Italian carrier. The merge would take place through a share swap and give the Aga Khan who controls Meridiana between 5 and 7 percent of Alitalia, which corresponds to a valuation of Meridiana of about 100 million euros ($135 million).
- As of 29 July 2009 Alitalia is the first airline for domestic flights in Italy and was the third airline for international flights to/from Italy. As of 4 October 2010 Alitalia has overtaken Easyjet in this respect and is therefore in second place.
- Rocco Sabelli, the airline CEO, admitted in 2009 that he expected an "uphill struggle" for 2010 (and indeed losses amounted to 107 million Euros), whereas profit or at least a break-even should be possible for 2011, as has been confirmed on 9 May 2011, despite the difficulties arising from high fuel costs and recent regional troubles in Japan and North Africa.
- Alitalia has been nominated as Europe's most punctual airline.
- As of 28 October 2010, Alitalia has 53% of the market share on domestic routes (based on seat capacity).
- In terms of 2010 passenger results, the best results were achieved on international and intercontinental routes, with passengers up by 12 and 14% on these routes respectively. The total number of passengers for the period was 23.4 million.
Alitalia has been considering the Russian regional Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft, with a possible order for 20, which would have been a huge boost for Russia's Civil Aviation manufacturers. Alitalia was also however considering ordering Bombardier and/or Embraer 190 aircraft to update its regional fleet. A contest has taken place at Rome Fiumicino Airport to decide what aircraft will be ordered. Alitalia officials have presented a preference for the Embraer, with an imminent order for 20, since they already have 6 aircraft of that type; also, the Superjets wouldn't be available for immediate delivery, as they still need to be certificated.
- On 17 March 2009, Alitalia received its first new aircraft since the merger with Air One, the aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 (EI-DTB).
- In May 2009, Alitalia painted one of their Boeing 767-300ER (EI-DBP) in a special SkyTeam livery.
- All Airbus A320 family aircraft have been refitted with new "slim" leather Recaro seats, allowing to add two rows of seats in each case, without affecting legroom. There seems to be PTV installed, but not fully functional yet.
- On 19 July 2010, the Aircraft with registration EI-DSA, which had previously been in the Air One livery, was painted into a special "Alitalia.com" livery.(EI-DSA)
- On 23 February 2011, Alitalia and ENAC announced the introduction of the Safety Card written in braille and characters in 3-D relief, which will be introduced on scheduled flights for the first time in the world.
The new Alitalia inherited Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane's membership of the SkyTeam alliance. Alitalia-LAI originally joined in 2001.
Alitalia has since opened up code-share agreements with SkyTeam members, allowing passengers to fly to numerous destinations using a single Alitalia ticket.
In July 2010, Alitalia joined leading SkyTeam members Air France, KLM and Delta's Transatlantic Joint Venture, meaning that the profits on flights across the Atlantic are shared between the four airlines.
The airline's frequent-flyer programme is named "MilleMiglia" (thousand miles), and is part of the SkyTeam alliance programme, allowing passengers to collect miles and redeem them with free tickets across the whole alliance.
It also grants access to Alitalia's Privilege clubs, Ulisse, Freccia Alata, and finally Freccia Alata Plus, depending on how many miles you have collected in a year, with various advantages depending on the club. These clubs give access to SkyTeam Elite (Ulisse) and SkyTeam Elite+ (Freccia Alata, Freccia Alata plus).
Listed here are incidents since Alitalia's relaunch of operations on 13 January 2009:
- On 17 February 2010, an Alitalia flight from Rome to Cairo, Egypt with 157 passengers, had to make an emergency landing in Cairo after a reported bomb threat. A notable passenger on the flight was Egyptian Tourism Minister Zuheir Garana.
- On 24 April 2011 an attempt was made to hijack Alitalia Flight 329, en-route from Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, France to Fiumicino Airport, Rome and divert it to Tripoli International Airport, Libya. The hijacker, reported to be an advisor to the Kazakhstan delegation to UNESCO, was subdued by cabin crew and other passengers. He was arrested and taken into custody after the aircraft made a safe landing at Rome.