Tuesday, 5 May 2020

The last long-haul Alitalia route suspended

The beleaguered and virtually bankrupt Italian airline Alitalia has confirmed it will be axing its last long-haul route from today until the end of the month.

The Rome - New York route was the last long-haul operation the airline had going during the onset of the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis, but will also now be suspended, with some doubt whether it will ever resume.

Alitalia has been operating a fraction of its usual 500 flights daily during the current crisis, it experienced a 95% drop in passenger revenue during the first few weeks of April. The debt-riddled carrier is currently in the process of being renationalised after numerous attempts at finding a buyer have failed. 

FNTA - a federation of three Italian flight crew trade unions - said it opposed the suspension of the New York flight and wrote to government ministers and the airline's board on Monday. "We consider this decision to be absolutely inexplicable and unacceptable, both for commercial reasons and in general, because it deprives Italian citizens of the only direct connection still existing between Italy and the United States and diverts passengers to Air France-KLM," the letter reads.  

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