End of an era: Alitalia makes final flights before folding

World News

Alitalia workers gather with demonstrators during a transportation strike called by the COBAS union, in downtown Rome, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. COBAS union, representing all public workers, called for a nation-wide strike to demand improved wages, work conditions, security and pensions. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

ROME (AP) — It’s the end of business for Italy’s bankrupt national carrier Alitalia, and an end of an era for Italy.

Alitalia is flying its final flight on Thursday, from Cagliari, Sardinia to Rome, before it formally folds.

Alitalia operated in the red for more than a decade will be replaced by a new national carrier ITA, or Italy Air Transport, which launches Friday.

ITA plans to operate flights to New York, Tokyo, Boston and Miami from Rome, and to Paris, London, Amsterdam and other European destinations from Rome and Milan.

But ITA is only planning to hire around a quarter of the estimated 10,000 Alitalia employees.

The company will start out with a fleet of 52 aircraft, which will go up to 78 in 2022 with the arrival of new-generation airplanes.

This picture made available by ITA (Italy Air Transportation) on Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, shows one of the company’s first Airbus A320 that will start flying as of Oct. 15, 2021. (ITA via LaPresse/AP)

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