Alitalia and the strange case for trips to the United States –

Washington authorizes Alitalia to exceptionally operate flights between Italy and the United States, as well as transport passengers of Etihad Airways and Kenya Airways who have arrived in our country. Among the tracks, however, are some that the new Alitalia – scheduled to take off from April 2021 – does not intend to operate, and others it plans to launch in the following years. Curiosity arises from reading documents exchanged before Christmas between US legal advisors for the Italian company and the US Department of Transportation.


On December 4, attorneys for the specialist law firm KMA Zuckert – whose offices are a stone’s throw from the White House – asked the Transportation Department to agree to place the EY flight code on communications operated by Alitalia aircraft between Rome Fiumicino and New York – JFK, Boston, and Miami. , Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, Chicago, and between Milan Malpensa and New York – JFK. Five days later they submitted another similar request, this time to enter the KQ (Kenya Airways) code for interchange flights between the Romanian airport and American cities.

How it works

This means that travelers from Abu Dhabi and Nairobi to the United States will be able to purchase a ticket with the first flight operated by Etihad and Kenya Airways to Rome Fiumicino (and Milan Malpensa) and the second operated by Alitalia to the designated US cities. On the contrary, from the United States, a traveler can purchase a flight to Abu Dhabi and Nairobi that includes a stopover in Rome (or Milan) as part of trade exchange agreements, i.e. sharing flight codes.

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Green light

On December 22, officials from the Ministry of Transport responded to both requests, giving the green light under agreements between transport companies and states. But what Washington does not realize is that an undeclared mandate has a consequence. The industrial plan announced a few days ago by Italia Trasporti Aereo – the new public company created to relaunch the Alitalia brand – does not plan to operate commercial flights to Milan Malpensa, including those bound for New York.


Not only. There is also some difference in the communications from Roma Fiumicino. Because if the New York, Boston, Washington, Miami and Los Angeles lines are expected to be rolled out immediately in the ITA business plan, other routes must start at a later time. For example, the flight to Chicago should take off again in 2022, the flight to San Francisco – in fact, it never left because it was scheduled for June 2020, but then the Coronavirus arrived – it should not start before 2023.


Alitalia’s sources explain in the extraordinary administration of Courier service That the request was sent regardless of Italia Trasporti Aereo’s movements and to protect the airline’s current assets. If the new company buys all or part of these assets, it will be up to the summit – General Manager and General Manager Fabio Lazerini and President Francesco Caillot – to decide whether to exploit this option or revolutionize the system of trade agreements and thus to act differently.

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