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Alitalia is the flag carrier and national airline of Italy, which took over the name, the landing rights, many planes and some other assets from the liquidation process of the oldAlitalia — Linee Aeree Italiane and the entire Air One. The company has its head office inFiumicino, Italy. Its main hub is Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport, Rome. Alitalia is Italy's biggest airline, and the world's 19th. The name "Alitalia" is an Italianportmanteau of the words ali (wings), and Italia (Italy). In 2008, a group of investors made the "Compagnia Aerea Italiana" (CAI) consortium aimed to buy the bankrupt Alitalia — Linee Aeree Italiane ("old" Alitalia) and to merge these with Air One, another Italian carrier.
On 30 October 2008 CAI offered €1000 million to acquire parts of the bankrupt airline, amidst pilots' and flight crew members' opposition to labour agreements.
On 19 November 2008, CAI's offer was accepted by the bankruptcy administrator of Alitalia with the permission of the Italian government, at the time major shareholder of the bankrupt airline. Alitalia's profitable assets were transferred to CAI on 12 December 2008 after CAI paid €1052 million, consisting of €427 million in cash and the assumption of responsibility for €625 million in Alitalia debt.
A USA diplomatic cable disclosed in 2011 summarised the operation as follows: "Under the guise of a rather quaint (and distinctly un-EU) desire to maintain the Italian-ness of the company, a group of wealthy Berlusconicronies was enticed into taking over the healthy portions of Alitalia, leaving its debts to the Italian taxpayers. The rules of bankruptcy were changed in the middle of the game to meet the government's needs. Berlusconi pulled this one off, but his involvement probably cost the Italian taxpayers a lot of money."
On 13 January 2009 the "new" Alitalia re-launched operations. The owners of Compagnia Aerea Italiana sold 25% of the company's shares to Air France-KLM for €322 million. Air France-KLM also obtained an option, subject to certain conditions, to purchase additional shares after 2013. The French as well as the Italian boards agreed to the sale.
In January 2010, Alitalia celebrated its first birthday since the relaunch. It carried 22 million passengers in its first year of operations In 2011, 25 million passengers were carried.
On 1 February 2010, it was announced that Alitalia crew would go on a four hour strike over wages. This was the first strike action for Alitalia since the relaunch
On 11 February 2010, Alitalia announced that, starting from March 2010, it would be using Air One as a low-fare airline ("Smart Carrier"), with operations based in Milan Malpensa Airport, focused on short-haul leisure routes. It was predicted that the subsidiary would handle 2.4 million passengers by 2012In 2011, 1.4 million passengers were carried by the subsidiary. Although operations were initially to be concentrated at Milan Malpensa, Air One operates from four bases as of January 2013: Milan-Malpensa, Venice-Marco Polo,Pisa and Catania.
On 12 February 2011, information was released about a possible merger between Alitalia and Meridiana Fly, another Italian carrier however the airlines are still independent as of March 2012.
On 25 January 2012, Alitalia signed memoranda of understanding with two other Italian airlines, Blue Panorama and Wind Jet, and said to have started processes "aimed at achieving integration" with them.
By the end of July 2012, the Italian antitrust authority granted Alitalia, to acquire Wind Jet, but in return Alitalia had to give up slots on domestic key routes. Faced with this, Alitalia cancelled the plans a few days later in August 2012.
Alitalia has four classes of service.