Alitalia, what risks are there for those who buy tickets and the EU rules on passenger rights

There is a ticket case for Alitalia. The ailing company continues to fly, despite the empty crates. The new public company Ita that should take his place is not known when it will take off. What risks those who buy a ticket for an Alitalia flight for the next few months? What happens if you have a ticket in your pocket for a flight on a date on which Alitalia has ceased operations?

Tickets can be bought in advance

Many tickets are bought in advance, so many Alitalia customers could find themselves in this situation. From what is known Ita will not be able to fly before the end of September. Despite the series of announcements of convergence between the government and the EU for the birth of Ita, the latest is the agreement in principle announced on May 26 after the meeting in Brussels between the Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager and the Minister of Development economic, Giancarlo Giorgetti, the operation has not yet been authorized by the European Commission.


The negotiations with the EU are not over

Negotiations are ongoing at a technical level which must define essential details before the final agreement. In principle it has been established that the flight activities, downsized to less than half of Alitalia’s fleet, will be transferred to the new company without a tender, there will be a negotiation for the economic evaluation. The commissioners of Alitalia will instead have to make tenders to sell the other activities: the brand, the handling services at the airport, maintenance, with “open and transparent” tenders.

The races and slots of Linate

Ita will be able to participate in these tenders, in competition with other suitors, with some limitations: it will not be able to acquire the majority of the maintenance, while it will be able to acquire the majority of the handling services and the brand. Ita will have to renounce part of the slots at Alitalia’s Linate. The EU wanted to cut half of them, now it is said that the sacrifice would be lower, because Ita has offered to give up part of the slots at Fiumicino. But the slots cut at Linate will take place and it will not be painless, because the airport is contingent and therefore the free slots will pass to competitors, there is a long waiting list.

The ticket issue

From what leaked in Brussels, the ticket issue has not been settled. From Rome it was asked that Alitalia tickets can also be used for Ita, so as not to interrupt the sales of tickets for flights in the coming months. The take-off of Ita was initially scheduled for last January, then from 1 April, according to the company’s plan. The difficulties of the negotiations with the EU have postponed the date. The CEO di Ita, Fabio Lazzerini, had hypothesized July, then August. Considering that – according to what Lazzerini said – it takes “60 to 90 days” to make the new company operational since the formal authorization is given, it is now estimated that Ita will not be able to leave before the end of September. But even this date is not sure. Until the negotiation is concluded with official authorization, there are no certain dates.


Alitalia risks buy tickets rules passenger rights

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