Alitalia staff protest over launch of new airline

Alitalia workers including pilots blocked roads into Rome's Fiumicino airport on Friday (September 24).

They were protesting at the airline's imminent replacement by state-backed carrier ITA.

Alitalia was put into administration in 2017 after three failed reorganisations.

Last year's air travel slump then foiled a planned sale to investors.

On October 15, ITA will take over.

But it will operate less than half of Alitalia's fleet of jets, and employ only a few of its 11,000 workers.

Employment terms will also be much less generous than before.

That's all opposed by unions, who have demanded zero redundancies.

The Alitalia brand and loyalty program are being sold off separately.

Brussels has given Italy the green light to inject almost $1.6 billion into the new firm, with further payments likely.

Watchdogs also ruled that ITA doesn't have to pay back over a billion dollars in illegal state aid received by its predecessor.

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