MIAMI – Italian government ministers are expected to meet with representatives of the European Commission to discuss plans for the establishment of a new national carrier.

Initially known as ITA, the airline is emerging from the restructuring of the troubled flag carrier Alitalia (AZ). According to Flight Global, The Italian Ministries of Economic Development, Transport and Finance co-stated that they “assessed the probability of the continuation of the ITA project and expressed the desire to confirm a national air transport carrier.”

They added that the Commission will be presented with proposals to address “issues still open” within the next week. Flight Global reported that the ministers and European Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager will take part in the meeting.

The Ministers announced the expected meeting following a February 26 debate on the situation surrounding AZ, adding that the Italian parliament would also have to be engaged in the ITA industrial strategy.

Alitalia Boeing 777-3Q8(ER) EI-WLA taken in Rome Fiumicino Intl’ Airport Photo: Marco Macca @aviator_ita

A Matter of National Pride

According to the European Union, the Alitalia (AZ) brand should not be kept by the new company, as it is an emblematic indicator of continuity.

After 75 years, the Alitalia brand is finally coming to an end. AZ has endured 11 years of turbulent private management and three failed restructuring attempts. The new airline ITA stands for Italy Air Transport (Italia Trasporto Aereo) and should begin operation sometime this year.

However, last month, the Italian government was still seeking to nationalize and relaunch the ailing flag carrier after the coronavirus crisis scuppered plans to sell it.

“The Alitalia brand should not be retained by the new company, since it is an emblematic indicator of continuity,” the European Union said at the time in a letter published by L’Espresso.

Featured image: Alberto Cucini/airways