Air Italy enters liquidation in tough trading conditions

Air Italy

Air Italy has shut down operations

Regional carrier Air Italy said Tuesday it will cease operations and liquidate after shareholders decided against further investments to keep it afloat.

All scheduled flights (outward or return) up to and including February 25, 2020 (including the first departures on the morning of February 26, 2020 of domestic flights to Malpensa and from Male and Dakar airports) will be regularly operated without any changes to the original scheduled dates and times and on the same flight conditions.

Air Italy, the country's second-biggest airline, has suspended operations and can not guarantee any flights beyond the end of February 2020.

Transport Minister Paola De Micheli, along with head of Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) Nicola Zaccheo, summoned Air Italy's three liquidators for a meeting. Passengers will be able to fly using their tickets. Alternatively, passengers can always opt for a full ticket refund prior to their flight's departure time.

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Ryanair's chief commercial officer has today denied any interest in buying Air Italy after press reports linking his group to the loss-making airline, which was put into liquidation by its owners earlier this week.

The Italian airline announced that passengers with already booked tickets would be offered alternative travel options or refunds.

Air Italy has recently announced it will be closing down due to financial losses, however, passengers with future bookings will be protected against financial failure.

The airline was subsequently rebranded as Air Italy and began operating long-haul flights to the U.S. and Africa, as well as offering domestic flights, with Milan's Malpensa airport serving as its hub.

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In 1991, it merged with Universair to become Meridiana.

The 737 Max was delivered, one of the first in Europe, but unfortunately for Air Italy the aircraft was grounded previous year.

Air Italy is held 51 per cent by the Aga Khan and 49 per cent by Qatar Airways. In April 2019, the CEOs of Delta, United and American claimed that Air Italy is similar to a Trojan horse that Qatar Airways is trying to use to provide de-facto fifth freedom services between the European Union and the U.S.

Seemingly pointing the finger at Alisarda, the statement added: "For this reason, Qatar Airways was ready once again to play its part in supporting the growth of the airline, but this would only have been possible with the commitment of all shareholders".

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