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Alitalia flight attendant protests

Updated: Aug 22, 2022


Alitalia - Società Aerea Italiana S.p.A. was founded on September 16, 1946, as Aerolinee Italiane Internazionali (Italian International Airlines). The airline was Italy's flag carrier and largest airline. However due to severe financial problems, it permanently closed down this year after 74 years of service.Two major reasons were cited for this: (1) Despite being in the business for a long period, there was actually only one year in which they were able to make profit. The rest of the years in operations resulted in billions of dollars of deficit. (2) The COVID-19 situation has greatly reduced the number of customers and flights available On October 10, 2020, the Italian government signed a decree allowing the airline to be renamed ITA - Italia, Trasporto Aereo S.p.A. It also limited the airline to employing 2,800 people only. Having a workforce of about 10,000 people, this decree significantly led many to becoming unemployed.

Out of rage and disappointment, a flash mob of Alitalia’s flight attendants stripped down to their underwear in protest of their job losses and salary cuts caused by the formation of the country's new ITA airline.

Around 50 air hostesses gathered in front of Rome's town hall, known as Campidoglio, and removed their uniforms to protest slowly and silently against the working conditions that their peers, who had been re-hired by the new ITA Airways, were subjected to.

The protesting flight attendants stood barefoot silently for several minutes only wearing their slippers. They then yelled, "We are Alitalia!" as they picked up their undressed clothes and shoes.

A former commissioner said: “We came first to express our pain. Solidarity goes to all our colleagues who were summoned to the ITA and forced to sign a humiliating and mortifying company contract.” The union representing ex-Alitalia employees is now demanding that the government provide them each with five years of unemployment benefits.

According to the outlet, ITA Airways President Alfredo Altavilla called the protest "a thing of national shame," comparing the employees threatening to strike over unfair working conditions to drivers constantly looking in their backseat mirror.He also stated that "Discontinuity does not mean denying the past, but evolving to keep up with the times….ITA Airways is being born in the optimal dimensions, both in terms of fleet size and destinations. We don't carry the negative inheritance of being too big, which conflicts with economic reality.


Written by Kalash Pandey

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