Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Strings attached

Corriere della Serra has an excellent photo slideshow on the history of Alitalia, whose latest incarnation (the Berlusconi-era cherry-picked version) appears headed for de facto sale to Etihad after failing to achieve financial viability.

Among the thing one learns from the slideshow is that the original airline was financed with British government money invested through what would eventually become BA, and that a condition of the money (which was part of a complex war reparations deal) was that the company use British aircraft in its fleet. In the foreground of the 1940s fleet photo above is an Avro Lancaster, one of the heavy bombers from World War II, adapted for civil aviation.

Photo: Alitalia Archive.