Use of logo, flight codes, intangibles could cost Alitalia's successor millions

By UnreguserLi Jie
  • World
  • Thursday, 29 Oct 2020

ROME, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- ITA, the new Italian airline expected to launch next year replacing the country's beleaguered flag carrier Alitalia, will have to pay Alitalia for "intangible" assets, including use of the airline's logo, its flight codes, landing slots and its frequent flier program.

According to Italy's largest newspaper Corriere della Sera and Alitalia officials who spoke to Xinhua, the intangible assets are not automatically transferred to the new entity.

Alitalia officials said there was no standard way to calculate the value of those assets, though the article in Corriere della Sera estimated their value at around 220 million euros (258.6 million U.S. dollars). The article said the most valuable of the assets are the landing slots at Linate Airport in Milan and at London's Heathrow Airport, and the various flight codes that will allow ITA to skip the process of applying for new codes with the aviation authorities.

Alitalia has struggled economically for years, and it faced bankruptcy during Italy's coronavirus lockdown, when passenger traffic was prohibited. The plan to launch ITA is part of a government bailout for the airline, which will be a scaled-back version of Alitalia, with fewer routes, employees and aircraft.

Officials overseeing the transition have said the new company will maintain its flights to North and South America. Fabio Lazzerini, chief executive officer (CEO) of Alitalia, said the company's board is "still thinking" about whether to launch routes to China and other parts of Asia once ITA starts operations.

Other details about the transition between Alitalia and ITA -- including the value of the aforementioned assets -- will be hammered out in the coming months, officials said.

ITA is an Italian-language acronym for Italia Trasporto Aereo (Italian Air Transport).

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