Italian colours: The plane veered off a runway after landing in strong winds while operating under Alitalia colours, injuring six people onboard.
Paint job: The plane on Sunday after it had been re-painted, leaving no evidence of the Italian carrier’s insignia.
Alitalia: Leased plane in crash re-painted
An aeroplane which veered off a runway after landing in strong winds was re-painted white to conceal the airline’s insignia to avoid bad publicity.
The ATR-72 turboprop plane, which belonged to Romanian carrier Carpatair but was leased by Italian carrier Alitalia, was re-painted to protect the brand’s reputation, officials have said, causing anger among unions.
Displaying the Alitalia colours and logo, the plane crashed on Saturday injuring six, but by Sunday it had been painted white by Alitalia staff – before it was even moved from the crash site.
The plane, which was traveling from Pisa-Galileo Airport to Leonardo da Vinci airport in Rome, had the Italian airline’s name visible on its fuselage but after it was re-painted, all that remained was a small Romanian flag indicating the origin of the aircraft’s owner, a budget airline based in Timisoara, Romania.
Alitalia argued that the paint job was standard corporate practice to protect brand reputation and operated all over the world .
Giancarlo Schisano, Alitalia’s director of operations, was quoted in The Daily Telegraph saying: ‘Blocking out a carrier’s livery is a normal way of protecting a company’s reputation, and even more in this case, because it is not an Alitalia plane.’
Protecting the brand: The ATR-72 turboprop plane clearly showed the Alitalia logo and colours after the crash but the plane, which was leased by the Italian carrier by Romanian carrier Carpatair, was painted soon afterwards
Evidence disguised: The small Romanian flag (above the windows) indicated that the plane was actually a Romanian aircraft. After the plane was re-painted, the flag was all that remained of the insignia
An Alitalia spokesperson said: ‘This is something that is done by airline companies in many countries and we are surprised that such a fuss is being made. It is a matter of brand protection.’
Passengers onboard said the Italian carrier’s insignia was misleading because they thought they were flying on an Alitalia plane.
One female passenger told Italian media: ‘I bought the ticket online from the Alitalia website and all the markings on the plane are Alitalia. What happened is shameful.’
A Romanian airliner ended up off the runway while landing at Rome’s main airport during heavy winds on Saturday night, injuring a flight attendant and four passengers, aviation officials said.
The flight was being operated by Romanian airline Carpatair on behalf of Italian airline Alitalia.
registration YR-ATS performing flight V3-1670/AZ-1670 from Pisa to Rome Fiumicino (Italy) with 46 passengers and 4 crew, landed on Fiumicino’s runway 16L (runway 3)
The Italian news agency ANSA said the injuries consisted of fractures or bruises, and that none was life-threatening.
ANSA said the ATR 72 aircraft ended up in the grass about 50 metres away from the runway on a flight from the Tuscan city of Pisa, with 46 passengers and a crew of four on board.
It quoted unidentified passengers as saying the aircraft landed hard on the runway, then appeared to have bounced, ending up off the tarmac and tilted on one side.
An official statement on posted on the Alitalia website said that due to “strong wind” the aircraft flying from Pisa to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport “experienced difficulties in landing.”
It said “all 46 passengers and the four crew members evacuated the aircraft. Passengers requiring treatment were taken to the hospital. Only one passenger had a fracture of the femur.”
According to their website all Alitalia flights operated by Carpatair have been suspended.
An official from Italy’s civil aviation authority ENAC said the cause of the incident was under investigation but that heavy winds that had whipped Leonardo da Vinci airport much of the day might have played a role.
Passengers felt misled: About 50 people were aboard the plane and some told Italian media that they were under the impression they were flying on an Italian plane
‘Not an Alitalia plane': The Italian carrier’s director of operations said the paint job was standard corporate practice that operated all over the world
Of the six passengers injured, a girl with a spinal injury was transported to the Gemelli hospital by ambulance.
Winds were steady at about 32 mph with gusts up to 47 mph and there were scattered clouds at the time of the crash, according to local reports.
About 50 people were aboard the plane, which ended up in the grass, slightly inclined and with damaged landing gear.
The accident temporarily closed the airport.
The plane, a ATR 72, which carries the colors of Alitalia and off from Pisa (north) at 18.15 GMT (20.15 GMT) with 46 passengers on board and four crew members are on grass and is slightly tilted one hand, with broken landing gear, announced firefighters and port authorities.
The most seriously injured of the three people hospitalized is a member of the Romanian crew, aged 30 years, who suffered trauma to the spine, without them life would be jeopardized, according to the press. Problem accusing another person seriously injured in the pelvis.
Several investigations were launched by the Italian National Agency for Flight Safety, Alitalia and Prosecution of Civitavecchia, in order to determine the exact circumstances of the accident. Based on the first items collected, the two hypotheses are privileged adverse weather conditions – strong gusts of wind and rain – which made it difficult landing or pilot error.
Recalling the “difficulty landing due to strong wind gusts that caused exit track” Alitalia announced on Saturday evening, in a statement, suspending “all flights operated by Carpatair routes from Pisa and Bologna” to Rome.
Rome-Fiumicino airport remained opened to traffic, but one runway was closed.
“During the landing, the plane touched the ground twice with violence. A second time his landing gear collapsed and the aircraft came off the track,” said a passenger agency Ansa visibly traumatized. He admitted to was “very scared”, adding that some passengers “I think I’ll die and began to scream.”
Alitalia canceled flights Carpatair of Rome to Pisa and Bologna “to clarify the causes of the incident are” made in Rome’s Fiumicino airport, said owner Carpatair, Nicolae Petrov. He also said that the decision Alitalia, which is a collaboration Carpatair, cancel flights between the two Italian cities was made “under pressure from unions” and most likely will take several days “until clarify the causes of the incident”.
“It’s information that creates confusion, that the cancellation of flights between Pisa and Bologna.’s About two aircraft operation Carpatair.
Decision was taken under pressure from unions, which are unhappy that we won this auction. Basically aircraft remained on the route, because the second was damaged in the incident. folks at Alitalia announced they want to see because of the accident, to decide on the decision to suspend was made more to appease the spirits.
Probably flights will be suspended one two days, until clarify the causes of the incident, “said Petrov.
According to Italian media partnership between Alitalia Carpatair is very controversial in recent months following several incidents.
On January 22, an airliner, which provides a link Rome-Ancona, was forced to make an emergency landing at Ancona, immediately after takeoff. On January 5, a plane took off from Ancona was turned back due to pressurization problems that forced the passengers to use oxgen masks.
On 10 January, the company has denied in a statement, a lack of reliability, denouncing a “media campaign” fueled by “Italian sndicatele the pilots’ unhappy partnership with Alitalia.
In addition to lines Ancona-Rome, Pisa, Rome, Carpatair also provides the link Rome-Bologna since January. “We are impressed with the number of faults and problems facing the company. Moreover, I alerted the civil aviation authorities, but have not received a response,” said Marco Veneziana, national secretary of the union Uil Trasporti, for SkyTg24 TV channel.
Carpatair won in February 2012, a tender for the provision of certain domestic flights Alitalia, two ATR 72-500 aircraft 70 seats each.
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