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Alitalia is dead – long live Alitalia

The existing Alitalia will cease to exist from 15 October. A new airline has been created, ITA, owned by the Italian Finance Ministry, which has written off Alitalia's remaining debts and pumped in about €700m in start-up funding. ITA (Italia Trasporto Aereo) agreed to buy a number of Alitalia aircraft, slots and other assets to start as a new state-backed carrier. This follows a tumultuous history that dates back to 1946.

The new operator says it will emerge much smaller than Alitalia, with just 52 aircraft, but plans to gradually grow the fleet again in the coming years. It will ditch Alitalia's frequent flyer program and contract out for a new one. As with many other carriers it will also outsource other functions such as ground handling and maintenance and will begin with a much smaller workforce. ITA will concentrate on domestic and European routes and will keep flying to a few long-haul route destinations in the US and Japan.


NBAA builds virtual BACE alongside in-person event

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) last week announced an impressive roster of online content, including a full program of education sessions, as well as exclusive, web-only features, will be available to both in-person and at-home attendees of the upcoming NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) taking place October 12-14 in Las Vegas, NV.

More than two dozen education sessions taking place at NBAA-BACE, addressing the hottest topics in the industry – from advanced air mobility to sustainability – will be recorded and made available on NBAA’s online Learning Management System within 24 hours following the in-person presentation. Several on-demand-only sessions are also planned in conjunction with the show. All recorded content will be available for a single, low price for those accessing the show online, while those registered to attend NBAA-BACE in person will have access to this content at no additional cost. NBAA will also expand its online networking platform, introduced for last year’s virtual show, allowing business aviation professionals attending the show from their home or office to interact with their peers in real-time video and audio. For more information about the event, and to register for online content, visit


GAMA: General Aviation shipments improve across all categories

Last week, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released its report of general aviation aircraft shipments and billings through the second quarter of 2021. Piston, turboprop, business jet and helicopter deliveries increased across all segments during the first six months of 2021 as compared to the same period of 2020.

“Through the first six months of 2021, we can see that the industry continues to progress in its recovery efforts. While it is encouraging to see segments improve from 2020, we still trail when compared to how the industry was faring before the onset of the pandemic,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce.

Aircraft shipments through the second quarter of 2021, when compared to the same period in 2020, saw piston airplane deliveries increase 12.3%, with 565 units; turboprop airplane deliveries increase 45.4%, with 221 units; and business jet deliveries increase 8.2%, with 264 units. The value of airplane deliveries through the second quarter of 2021 was $8.6 billion, an increase of approximately 9.4%.Turbine helicopter deliveries through the second quarter of 2021, when compared to the same period in 2020, saw an increase of 33%, with 258 units; and piston helicopter deliveries saw an increase of 31.7%, with 83 units.


People: Mente Group promotes Jim Lewis to Senior Managing Director

Victor CEOs Toby Edwards (left) and James Farley (right)

Mente Group has promoted 46-year aviation veteran Jim Lewis to Senior Managing Director. His experience ranges from early days as a freight and charter pilot and regional airline captain, to chief pilot, flight department manager, sales demonstration pilot, sales manager, director, and vice president.

Before joining Mente Group in 2016, Lewis’ sales and marketing tenure included successful careers at leading OEMs, with more than $2.5 billion in aircraft transactions. He spent 16 years serving as the U.S. West Coast director for Galaxy/Gulfstream, and two and a half years at Embraer – responsible in each position for business development and new and active accounts, leveraging his strengths in aerospace technical aspects, aircraft operations, brand building, and developing an extensive list of long-term customer relationships. In addition to his role as Mente Group’s overall senior managing director, Jim Lewis will continue to serve clients in 12 western states, western Canada, and the Pacific region from his base in Portland, Oregon. Lewis is a member and active with the NBAA, Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA), the Columbia Aviation Association, the Cascade Aero Club, the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association, the Oregon Pilots Association, and he is a frequent industry presenter and speaker.

An active aircraft owner with an Airline Transport Pilot license, eight type ratings, and over 10,000 hours of flight time; he also volunteers his time and airplane for Veterans Airlift Command and Challenge Air missions. Lewis holds a master’s degree in aeronautical science, specializing in management, from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and a bachelor’s degree in natural science from Florida Southern University.

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