Alitalia's last flight: Italy says goodbye to airline after 74 years

Oct 14, 2021 4921

Alitalia will take its last flight this evening before passing the baton to Italy's new national airline, ITA, which begins operations on Friday. The final flight, from Rome to Cagliari, brings to an end a colourful 74-year history between Italy and the troubled flag carrier. It is a sad, bitter day for Alitalia employees, most of whom will not be re-hired by ITA when takes off on Friday, or in the years ahead.

Today is also an emotional day for many Italians who saw the now bankrupt airline and its iconic 'A' tail-wing logo as a symbol of national pride. The story began on 16 September 1946, a year after the war, when Alitalia was established as Aerolinee Italiane Internazionali, funded by the Italian government and British European Airways (BEA) in a 60/40 share arrangement. 

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