Changes In Store For New Alitalia Maintenance

ITA’s fleet is planned to be less than half the size of Alitalia’s.
Credit: Alitalia

The future of Alitalia’s maintenance and engineering arm remains up in the air despite European Commission approval for a plan to restructure the airline under Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA).

Although ITA will seek to buy the Alitalia brand and certain aviation assets to relaunch the carrier as a smaller operation from October, the maintenance arm will go to a public tender in which ITA said it has the right to participate as “a minority partner of a new company, alongside other investors”.

Until the award of tenders for ground handling and maintenance, Alitalia will provide such services to ITA through supply contracts.

According to Reuters, roughly a quarter of Alitalia’s existing 11,000 staff will be hired by ITA this year, rising to about half in 2025. Of these, about 4,000 are expected to be maintenance and ground handling staff.

Also worth noting is that the focus of Alitalia’s maintenance operations is likely to change, as ITA has flagged plans to shrink the airline’s fleet and thereafter focus on a single aircraft manufacturer to benefit from fleet commonality cost savings.

Altialia’s current 110-strong fleet comprises Airbus, Boeing and Embraer types, and includes 26 widebodies. However, ITA plans to start operating with only 52 aircraft, of which seven would be widebodies.

During the period covered by its business plan, from 2021 to 2025, ITA plans to increase the fleet to 105 aircraft, albeit according to a single-source supply strategy.

“Over the plan period, ITA plans to rely on a single strategic partner for aircraft, and discussions are underway with the main partners,” it stated.

Alex Derber

Alex Derber, a UK-based aviation journalist, is editor of the Engine Yearbook and a contributor to Aviation Week and Inside MRO.