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Aircraft. Alitalia, its story lasted 75 years

It was founded in 1946 as ALII, then the various transformations

Alitalia, founded in 1946 as Italian international airlines (ALII) by British European Airways and the Institute for Industrial Reconstruction, the company began operations on May 5, 1947, changing its name. Decades of expansion followed until the economic crisis in the early 1990s which led to the partial privatization of the company. Post in extraordinary administration under the aegis of the Ministry of Economy and Finance in 2017, with the issuance of the "Cura Italia" decree in 2020, the establishment of a new company was envisaged, called Ita (Italy air transport), which will take over from the air carrier from 15 October 2021.

The airline began operations with a flight between Turin, Rome and Catania operated by a Fiat G-12 aircraft. Two months later followed the first international flight between Rome and Oslo by a Savoia-Marchetti SM95 while in March 1948 the first intercontinental flight was inaugurated, lasting a total of 36 hours, between Milan and Buenos Aires with intermediate stopovers in Rome, Dakar, Natal, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. The first aircraft, four Fiat G-12s and a Savoia-Marchetti SM-95, had been loaned by the Italian Air Force.

During the 1950s, the first flight attendants were introduced, with uniforms designed by the fashion house Sorelle Fontana, and four Douglas DC-4 four-engine aircraft entered the fleet.

In 1960, Alitalia became the official sponsor of the XVII Olympic Games in Rome. In the same year, the first jet planes are introduced, while the following year marks the opening of the Rome-Fiumicino airport, in which the company will position its main hub. Ten years later the company becomes the first European carrier to have only jet aircraft in its fleet and, with the delivery of the first B-747/100, the company adopts a new logo, the classic tricolor "A" that will be shown on all the tails of the aircraft as part of the new livery simultaneously adopted.

The 70s and 80s continued the development of its fleet and network with the introduction of the Douglas DC-10s, the McDonnell Douglas MD-80s and the A-300s with the opening of routes from Rome to the Far East (Tokyo).

In the mid-90s the company entered an economic crisis.

In 2001 Alitalia, after having signed an agreement, joined the SkyTeam global alliance on July 13. The following year begins the replacement of the B-747s with the new B-777 / 200ERs.


Giuseppe De Michelis (1946-1948)

Nicolò Carandini (1948-1968)

Bruno Velani (1968–1974)

Giorgio Tupini (1974-1978)

Umberto Nordio (1978–1988)

Carlo Verri (1988–1989)

Michele Principe (1990-1994)

Renato Riverso (1994-1996)

Fausto Cereti (1996-2003)

Giuseppe Bonomi (2003-2004)

Giancarlo Cimoli (2004-2007)

Berardino Libonati (2007)

Maurizio Prato (2007–2008)

Aristide Police (2008)

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo (2015-2017)

Luigi Gubitosi (2017-2018)

Francesco Caio (2020-2021)

Alfredo Altavilla (from 2021).

As of 2021, Alitalia has code-share agreements with over forty companies

The first logo to be used by it was a winged arrow next to the word "Alitalia" in uppercase italics.   In 1969 was presented the new one that would be used by the company until 2006: it consisted of a stylized green "A" with the red interior that echoed the tail and which represented the first "A" of the word "Alitalia".

Its first livery was the one on board the Fiat G-12 which operated the company's first flight from Turin-Aeritalia to Rome-Urbe in May 1947.

Over the years, the aircraft have covered numerous special liveries, both for promotional and commemorative purposes.

In May 2009 the B-767/300ER registration EI-DBP was colored with the newborn livery of the global SkyTeam alliance, of which Alitalia is a part; EI-DBP will fly in this livery until October 2012, when it was shelved. In March 2012, two more airplanes in its fleet wear the alliance livery: the Embraer 190 registration EI-RND, delivered with this special livery, and the B-777/200ER, registration EI-DDH. The fourth SkyTeam plane was from November 2013 to April 4, 2021, the A-330/200 EI-DIR.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency