The board of Milan-based Air Italy has decided to liquidate the company.
The carrier, whose U.S. network consists of flights from Milan to New York JFK, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco, said it has contracted with other carriers to operate all of its flights through Feb. 25. Those holding tickets on flights that were scheduled for after Feb. 25 will be fully refunded, either directly by the airline or through their travel advisor.
Customers with Air Italy tickets for travel up to Feb. 25 can also obtain full refunds, the carrier said, by contacting their travel agent or by emailing [email protected].
Air Italy has struggled financially since being rebranded from Meridiana airlines in 2017. In 2019, Air Italy lost 200 million euros ($218 million), according to the Rome-based newspaper Il Messaggero. For the fiscal year that ended in March 2019, Qatar Airways reported losses of $72.9 million on its 49% share of the Italian carrier.
In a statement Tuesday, Qatar said it had been prepared to inject more capital into Air Italy, "but this would only have been possible with the commitment of all shareholders."
The carrier is 51% owned by the billionaire businessman and spiritual leader of the Ismailian sect of Muslims, Aga Khan.
Air Italy becomes the latest in a wave of European leisure carriers to fail. The closure also comes as the government of Italy has been propping up bankrupt Alitalia for more than two years.
Despite operating just four U.S. routes, Air Italy has been a magnet for complaints by the legacy U.S. airlines Delta, United and American, which have alleged that it was benefitting from state subsidies that Qatar Airways receives in violation of the U.S.-Qatar Open Skies aviation agreement.
Qatar denies that it is state subsidized.