Air Italy today announced that it will cease operations as of February 25. The Italian carrier had a brief run of only two years since rebranding from Meridiana to Air Italy following an investment from Qatar Airways.
Like so many budget carriers before it, Air Italy had expanded beyond what it could handle in 2019 and was forced to cut service to Toronto, San Francisco, and Los Angeles soon after announcing these new routes.
The airline also suffered as a result of the grounding of the 737 Max, with 20 in its fleet substituted with leased Airbus 330s from Qatar Airways.
Air Italy lost around €160 million in 2018, followed by €200 million in 2019, according to Rome's Il Messaggero.
In a statement, Qatar Airways said it was willing to “do its part to support the turnaround and growth of the airline,” but that would require “the commitment of all shareholders.” As a 49% minority stakeholder, Qatar is limited by European Union laws against foreign majority ownership of airlines.
What to Do If You Have an Upcoming Flight With Air Italy
Flights will continue to operate through February 25. If you’re scheduled to fly Air Italy after that date, you may request a refund from the airline by emailing email@example.com. According to Air Italy, "passengers scheduled to depart before February 25 and return after will be offered a travel option on the first available flight of another carrier, the details of which will be provided from 18 February 2020 by calling the following number from Italy: 892928, from abroad: +39078952682, from USA: +1 866 3876359, from Canada: +1 800 7461888, or by contacting the travel agency in the case of purchase through this channel."
If your reservation falls before February 25 and you no longer wish to make the trip, you may also request a refund.
Travelers who purchased travel packages that included flights on Air Italy can contact the tour operator or travel agency.
As always, you should also contact your credit card company and alert them to the situation. Most major credit cards offer excellent coverage against airlines going belly up, and in cases where the airline is slow to act, your credit card will have your back.