For weeks, everyone in Italy has been asking what is going to happen to Air Italy. That answer came yesterday. Now Air Italy passengers are wondering if their tickets are still any good or not.
Air Italy stakeholders announced that the airline will be placed in liquidation after 2 years of heavy losses. This was reported by shareholders after an emergency meeting held yesterday.
In a statement, co-owners Alisarda and Qatar Airways said that passengers booked to travel up until February 25 could expect to fly as scheduled, while passengers with bookings further ahead would receive a full refund.
Air Italy, the country’s second-biggest airline, has suspended operations and cannot guarantee any flights beyond the end of February 2020.
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. 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.
For all tickets scheduled to depart by February 25, 2020 and to return after February 25, 2020, the outward journey will be regularly operated, without any changes to the original scheduled dates and times and the same flight conditions. With regards to the return flight, passengers will be offered a travel option on the first available flight of another carrier, the details of which will be provided from February 18, 2020 by calling the following number from Italy: 892928, from abroad: +39078952682, from the USA: +1 866 3876359, and from Canada: +1 800 7461888, or by contacting the travel agency in the case of purchase through this channel.
Passengers can opt to claim their refund for unused flight segments by emailing the following address: [email protected] (or by contacting the travel agency if the ticket was purchased through it) prior to the flight’s departure time.
For tickets for return flights after February 25, 2020, if purchased directly via the web (Air Italy portal) or Air Italy contact center), they will be fully refunded in a manner that will be provided via email or by requesting it at the address: [email protected].
Air Italy started off as Alisarda, then Meridana before it became Air Italy
The airline launched by Aga Khan as an air taxi in 1963 and charter company to serve the Costa Smeralda with its main base in Olbia, Sardinia.
In 1991, it merged with Universair to become Meridiana. S.p.a. is a holding company with a 51% stake in Meridiana successor airline Air Italy.
Air Italy was owned by Qatar Airways through AQA Holding (49%) and Alisarda 51%), who rebranded the airline as the new Air Italy. effective March 1, 2018.
In April 2017, it was announced that due to Qatar Airways purchasing a stake in the airline, the airline was to complete a fleet modernization with 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. These were be delivered from the second quarter of 2018, taken from Qatar’s orders from Boeing. In October 2017, it was announced that the airline would replace its long-haul fleet with new aircraft transferred from Qatar Airways’ new orders.
Qatar Airways reported yesterday that it has strongly believed in the company and in its potential, supporting management’s proposed business plan with a view to improving Air Italy’s growth and job creation with the addition of long-haul routes and numerous in-flight service improvements, the airline said in a statement. It continued: “Even with the changing competitive environment and the increasingly difficult market conditions severely impacting the air transport industry, Qatar Airways has continually reaffirmed its commitment, as a minority shareholder, to continue investing in the company.”