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Long-bankrupt Alitalia makes final flight

Long-bankrupt Alitalia makes final flight
Italy’s bankrupt national airline, Alitalia, made its final flight on Thursday night, marking the end of the 74-year-old carrier — the Pope’s favourite — and an end of an era for Italy.

Italy’s bankrupt national airline, Alitalia, made its final flight on Thursday night, marking the end of the 74-year-old carrier — the Pope’s favourite — and an end of an era for Italy.

There were some tears from cabin crew and a toast from pilots after Flight AZ1586, from Cagliari, Sardinia to Rome, landed shortly after 10pm.

The perpetually crisis-hit carrier, which has operated in the red for more than two decades, is being replaced by a new, slimmed-down state-owned entity called ITA.

A passenger holds up a boarding pass from last ever Alitalia flight, AZ1586 from Cagliari to Rome

It will fly to a handful of former destinations, focusing more on long haul and less on fiercely competitive domestic routes.

But it already looks remarkably similar to its defunct predecessor; on Thursday it purchased the Alitalia brand and website for 90 million euros.

The European Union has given Italy permission for a 1.35 billion-euro injection of government funding into the new carrier, which only plans to hire around a quarter of Alitalia’s 10,000-strong workforce.

最近几周, workers staged strikes and protests denouncing their treatment and what for many was just the final episode after years of crises, crippling industrial disputes and eye-watering losses.

Various attempts to refloat the carrier have resulted in the loss of vast sums of money, the equivalent of £6 per second for the past 23 年.

Far-right opposition party Brothers of Italy has blamed Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government for the airline’s demise.

“Today we are losing another jewel, a company that has forged the history of our nation andmade us proud to be Italian,” said the leader Giorgia Meloni.