MILAN – Alitalia, the airline that for years has symbolized Italy’s post-war boom and dolce vita, is set to make its last flight on Thursday, after the Covid-19 pandemic dealt a final blow to a company supported by the governments of the country for years.
The 75-year-old national airline, which in the late 1960s was the third largest in Europe, behind British Airways and Air France, has been in an Italian version of bankruptcy protection since 2017. It does not hasn’t made an annual profit for two decades. , struggling with competition from low-cost airlines and its own costly, strike-prone labor. The unrest continued almost to the end: a strike this week resulted in the cancellation of more than 100 flights.