Italy’s new national carrier ITA Airways, which replaced bankrupt Alitalia, has officially joined airline alliance SkyTeam.
ITA Airways executive chairman Alfredo Altavilla called the move “a natural step” for the airline, which paid €90 million for the rights to the Alitalia brand and website.
Alitalia operated its last flight on October 14 and left the SkyTeam pact – alongside alongside Air France, KLM and Delta Air Lines – on the same day.
New airlines ITA Airways had set out its intention to join an airline alliance earlier this month, but had expected to do so next year.
Altavilla said: “Joining SkyTeam is a natural step, enabling us to continue to deliver a global network and seamless experience that customers flying to and from Italy expect.
“We look forward to close cooperation with our SkyTeam partners to support the start-up of our company, the Italian flag carrier.”
Walter Cho, SkyTeam chairman, said: “For more than 20 years, the Italian market has been a cornerstone of SkyTeam’s European network and no other airline alliance connects Italy better to the world.
“We welcome ITA Airways’ decision to join our alliance and ensure continuity of service for the millions of customers who choose SkyTeam as their preferred alliance to Italy.”
He added that SkyTeam’s members would work with ITA Airways “to establish long-term partnership opportunities going forward”.