ITA Airways was announced on Friday as a new member of SkyTeam. The new Italian flag carrier will replace Alitalia, which stopped flying on 15 October.
Choosing SkyTeam, which has 18 members, was the natural step as Alitalia was one of the first companies to join the alliance in the early 2000s.
“For more than 20 years, the Italian market has been a cornerstone of SkyTeam’s European network and in the other airline alliance connects Italy better to the world. We warmly 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,” said Walter Cho, SkyTeam Chairman.
“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,” said Alfredo Altavilla, Executive Chairman of ITA Airways.
According to SkyTeam, the six million members of Alitalia’s MilleMiglia frequent flyer program will continue to accumulate points and redeem miles after the historic airline’s demise.
Although the announcement came just two weeks after the ITA’s debut, it was not a simple decision. Lufthansa, one of the founders of the pioneer Star Alliance, tried to bring the new Italian carrier into the alliance due to the importance of the Italian market for the German company.
Among the airlines that are associated with SkyTeam are Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines, Aeroflot and Aerolineas Argentinas.