Air Italy has announced that it will liquidate its operations, ending all flights on Feb 25. The airline carrier said all Air Italy flights scheduled for service from Feb. 11 to Feb. 25 will continue to be serviced by other carriers effective immediately without schedule changes.
Passengers that booked flights after Feb. 25 will be fully refunded their fares upon request, and passengers that opt not to fly with the airline before Feb. 25 can also receive a refund of their fares by contacting [email protected] prior to their departing flight time. Passengers can also choose to have their travel arrangements rebooked.
Air Italy, which began operation over two years ago, was created through the mergers of several smaller Italian airlines, with Qatar Airways taking a 49% stake in the company. The airline has been struggling to keep afloat, reportedly losing $218 million in 2019.
The airline operated 20 737 Max airplanes from its hub in Milan Malpensa, which were grounded in March 2019, causing Air Italy to lease a series of Airbus A330 from Qatar, Business Insider reported. Qatar Airways was reportedly unable to infuse money into the struggling airline because of European Union laws, which limit foreign ownership to minority stakes.
Qatar said in a statement that it is committed to supporting Air Italy. “[We were] ready once again to play [our] part in supporting the growth of the airline, but this would only have been possible with the commitment of all shareholders.”
Air Italy’s majority shareholder is Alisarda, which owns a 51% stake in the airline.
Air Italy’s liquidation follows the 2019 bankruptcies of Wow Air, Jet Airways, XL Airways, and U.K.-based travel firm Thomas Cook.