Italian carrier ITA Airways insists it is committed to establishing its brand on the international stage, even as it develops plans to leverage ownership of its predecessor operation’s name.

ITA – which now says its name is pronounced as ‘eeta’, rather than being an abbreviation of Italia Trasporto Aereo – secured the rights to the Alitalia brand and website domain for €90 million ($92 million) on the eve of its first day of operations in October 2021.

Speaking at the Farnborough air show on 19 July, where an ITA Airways Airbus A350-900 is on the static display, chief executive Fabio Lazzerini says the airline is committed to ITA as its brand as part of a “fresh start” for the operator, while acknowledging that “we still need to make it very well known outside of Italy”.

“We are investing in this. This is the new brand – it’s a new airline,” he states.


Source: Lewis Harper/FlightGlobal

Lazzerini says ITA has plans for the Alitalia brand

Nevertheless, while ITA’s purchase of the Alitalia brand was initially for “practical reasons” because all of its launch aircraft sported its predecessor’s livery – and its crew wore Alitalia clothing – Lazzerini says the carrier has bigger plans for the old name.

“We have a couple of very nice and creative ideas,” he says. “It’s a brand which has a value and… we think we can leverage very well the power of that brand.

“Alitalia will have a separate project later.”

In the meantime, ITA’s two suitors – joint bids from Lufthansa and shipping firm MSC Group, and Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and investment firm Certares – will see the Alitalia brand in the data room as they vie for ownership of Italy’s new flag carrier.