Sorpresa! The Alitalia brand is not going anywhere…at least right now. ITA frames it as a “temporary” move but I continue to predict that Italy’s newest flag carrier will trade under the Alitalia brand.
Alitalia Lives To See Another Day: ITA Will Use Alitalia Branding
Italia Trasporti Aereo (ITA) was launched in October 2020, though it will only actually take over for Alitalia on October 15th. On October 14th, the final Alitalia flight will operate. On October 15th, the first ITA flight will operate from Rome (FCO) to Milan (LIN) onboard an Airbus A319. ITA will use an Alitalia-branded plane. Flight attendants will wear Alitalia-branded uniforms. Signs at airports will all bear the name Alitalia.
So what’s changing? New management. Potentially new employees. No debt. And if that sounds like a familiar tune, it is…Alitalia has tried this trick before.
Even a year ago I essentially assumed that the Alitalia brand would live on. While the news is cast as a temporary measure so ITA does not have to rebrand airport signs and aircraft livery, the Alitalia brand is so ingrained in Italy and around the world that I would not expect it to go away…ever.
Consider ITA the new Alitalia. Somehow, it finds a way to live on.
Meanwhile, former Alitalia employees are striking in central Rome and Milan, causing traffic and metro disruptions. Their future is uncertain: will ITA hire old pilots and flight attendants from Alitalia? We don’t have an answer yet.
Widespread strikes across Italy include protests against Italy’s “green pass” (vaccinations or negative tests are required to enter restaurants and bars) as well as proposed changes to labor laws and pension systems by the government.
Whenever I think of Alitalia, I cannot help but think of Gloria Gaynor’s 1978 hit, I Will Survive. Close your eyes and listen to it, with Alitalia in mind:
At first I was afraid, I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side
But then I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong
And I grew strong
And I learned how to get along
And so you’re back
From outer space
I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face
I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key
If I’d known for just one second you’d be back to bother me
Go on now, go, walk out the door
Just turn around now
‘Cause you’re not welcome anymore
Weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye?
You think I’d crumble?
You think I’d lay down and die?
Oh no, not I, I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
And I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive
I will survive, hey, hey
Alitalia will survive.
(H/T: View From The Wing // image: Alitalia)