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Italy’s ITA requests for flight access to the US

written by Isabella Richards | August 30, 2021

 

Boeing 777 Alitalia (Alitalia)

Italia Transporto Aereo (ITA), Italy’s new state-owned airline, has applied to service routes from Milan to the US.

The airline submitted an application on 27 August to attain an exemption and a Foreign Air Carrier Permit to the Department of Transport (DoT).

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Taking the place of its predecessor Alitalia, which will officially suspend its services on 15 October, ITA has detailed its route roadmap for over the next few years.

ITA initially plans to serve routes from Milan and New York and between Rome, and Boston, New York and Miami when its services commence this October.

In 2022, it plans to add additional destinations from Rome to Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, and in 2023 to Chicago and San Francisco.

Alitalia served all announced routes except for San Francisco; Arline Route Maps shows.

In its letter to the DoT, the airline requested to “provide scheduled and charter foreign air transportation of persons, property and mail, as more fully described herein”.

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“ITA is requesting authority to engage in foreign air transportation to the full extent permitted under the US-EU-Iceland-Norway Air Transport Agreement of June 21, 2011,” it said.

ITA secured its air operator certificate and licence from Italian regulators on 18 August, and is taking its next steps to gain trans-Atlantic access.

In early August, the Italian government and European Commission announced ITA would officially replace the bankrupt Alitalia.

Alitalia announced its suspension of issuing tickets from midnight 25 August under Extraordinary Administration, flights to halt on 15 October, when ITA’s flights are set to commence.

State-owned Alitalia has been bankrupt since 2017, only surviving through government loans.

The newly-secured deal allows ITA to avoid taking on the liabilities of its predecessor and be recognised as an entirely new entity.

The first flights to the US are expected to be operated by Airbus’s wide-body A330-200 jet, an unsurprising decision as ITA is in talks with Airbus to obtain a large order for its fleet renewal.

ITA signalled in July it plans to rely on one planemaker, and the deal to provide the company with 81 commercial jets is reportedly valued at US$5.3 billion.

Prior to the start of its operations, ITA said it will acquire certain assets – including aircraft – from Alitalia, and will participate in a public tender to acquire its brand.

To expedite the approval from the DoT, ITA said it is polling the carriers served with the application to “promptly commence marketing and sales”.

“ITA will notify the Department of the results as soon as such polling has been completed,” the airline added.

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