Italian flag carrier posts record losses

Italian flag carrier Alitalia has suffered record losses in the first half of this year due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions and the global economic slowdown.

Alitalia on Tuesday reported a loss of 430 million euros ($510 million) for the first half of the year, compared to a 250 million euro loss a year earlier, Xinhua news agency reported.

Over the same period, the company carried around 3.6 million passengers, down by nearly two-thirds year-on-year.

The company was hurt the most by the travel restrictions which were in place between early March and early June.

Worries about the pandemic and weak economic growth across the world have weighed on the company’s balance sheets, even after travel restrictions were lifted in June.

But Alitalia appears to have weathered the storm better than many European airlines.

According to figures released by European carriers and tabulated by both the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera and the data firm Statista, the biggest losses among airlines were posted by British Airways, which lost 2.4 billion euros over the first six months of the year.

Germany’s Lufthansa, Iberia Airlines from Spain, Air France, and the KLM all lost more money than Alitalia in the first half of 2020.