By Olivia Bugault
Italia Trasporto Aereo began operations as Italy's new national flag carrier on Friday under the brand name ITA Airways, replacing the 75-year-old Alitalia.
The airline said it is starting with a fleet of 52 aircraft and intends to expand to 105 planes by the end of 2025. It currently serves a network of 44 destinations and plans to grow to 74 destinations by 2025, it added.
Late Thursday, ITA announced that it bought Alitalia's brand for 90 million euros ($104.4 million), much lower than Alitalia's base price of EUR290 million. ITA bought the brand name Alitalia in order to manage the transition to ITA Airways and to keep open the possibility for its future use, it said.
ITA recently said it signed an agreement with European plane maker Airbus SE for the acquisition of 28 planes--including A330neo, A220 and A320neo jets--with deliveries set to start during the first quarter of 2022. It has also agreed with U.S.-based Air Lease Corp. for the leasing of 31 additional Airbus jets.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires