Qatar Airways confirms readiness to support Air Italy

Andrew Cummings
February 15, 2020

Alternatively, passengers can always opt for a full ticket refund prior to their flight's departure time.

The decision to wind up the airline was taken at a shareholders meeting on Tuesday and the airline said flights between February 11 to February 25 would be operated by other carriers at previously scheduled times.

We have no interest whatsoever in buying Air Italy.

Air Italy has entered liquidation after shareholders - Alisarda and Qatar Airways - refused to invest further resources in the company.

Passengers who have future bookings with the airline, and who have booked through a travel agent or tour operator, should contact the company directly to discuss a refund, or to make alternative travel arrangements.

On September 28, 2017, Qatar Airways (QR/QTR) acquired a minority stake of 49% in the airline and renamed the airline to Air Italy, which first took to the skies in early 2018.

According to data on Flight Radar, Air Italy has canceled some flights for today and tomorrow.

The airline is 51 per cent owned by Alisarda SpA, a holding company owned by the Aga Khan.

Air Italy, which has 1,200 employees, including 550 in Sardinia, is estimated to have made a loss of 230 million euros in 2019.

The 737 Max was delivered, one of the first in Europe, but unfortunately for Air Italy the aircraft was grounded previous year.

Qatar Airways also owns stakes in several airlines such as Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, China Southern Airlines, LatAm and British Airways owner IAG. Air Italy had three in service at the point of grounding, and was expecting some of the additional 17 it had on order to have been delivered by now.

The demise of Air Italy is reminiscent of the problems faced by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad that once poured money to Italy's flagship carrier Alitalia, which filed bankruptcy and went into administration in 2017.

Despite our minority shareholder's role, Qatar Airways has continuously provided all possible support to Air Italy right from the beginning, from releasing aircraft from our fleet and ordering new aircraft for Air Italy, to backing management choices and injecting capital and investment as required and permitted.

Qatar Airways said in a statement that it would have been willing to continue its support of the airline "but this would have only been possible with the commitment of all shareholders". Air Italy, an airline launched in 2018 by the groups Alisarda and Qatar Airways, announced on Thursday the end of its operations.

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