Irony: Alitalia May Finally Become A Viable Airline Thanks To COVID-19 And Nationalization

News notes from around the interweb:

  • American extends ticket change flexibility for purchases through April 15. An additional 15 days isn’t going to be the end of it, but you shouldn’t be in a rush to cancel tickets you’re buying now anyway, even newly purchased flights will probably be cancelled and then you can get a refund.

  • The Italian government sees COVID-19 as an opportunity to downsize a nationalized Alitalia, and unions are already agitating.

    According to the sources, the industry ministry told unions on Monday that the new Alitalia would start with 25-30 aircraft, around a quarter of the fleet it was operating before the coronavirus outbreak.

    …“The government said that 25-30 aircraft would only be the starting point, but we are concerned the fleet will not be expanded once the emergency is over,” one of the sources told Reuters.

    The government did not spell out what its plan was for Alitalia’s workforce, which is currently in excess of 11,000.

    …“Even if we acknowledge the serious crisis that the country is experiencing, the new Alitalia should be created with the idea of developing it and increasing its flights once the emergency is over,” the CGIL and FILT unions said in a joint separate statement.

  • Japan Airlines two-thirds reduction in international schedule:

  • Oh those parked American Airlines planes in Tulsa.

  • Qantas operating Sydney – London A380 service via Darwin to avoid complications refueling at an international airport where transit passengers aren’t permitted.

  • Public transit agencies are asking for a $25 billion bailout fewer people are riding public transit drying up revenue.

  • British Airways has stopped serving alcohol to limit flight attendant-passenger contact (and limit spending on alcohol!). No more menus, disposable cups and utensils, no more duty free or newspapers. Prepackaged snacks replace buy on board for short haul. Historically passengers found they needed alcohol to endure British Airways…

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. If the airlines are going to stop serving food and drink, they could take a page from the old Southwest playbook and give every passenger (of age) a bottle of Crown per one way.

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