Last Friday (17) surprised investors, tourists and professionals in the travel industry. The early cancellation of the operations of ITA Transportes Aéreos shook the tourism market, after starting operations in July of the same year. 

Few months of operations, flights with frequent problems and many doubts marked a short trajectory for the airline, a risky bet by the Itapemirim Group in the Brazilian aviation market.

With a quick approval at Anac, the company had its maiden flight on June 29, 2021, graced by several journalists, blogs and travel influencers. 

Read too " Os 100 lugares mais lindos para viajar no Brasil

ITA Transportes Aéreos, of the Itapemirim Group, cancels all flights

ITA Transportes Aéreos, of the Itapemirim Group, cancels all flights in Brazil. Photo: Publicity / Ita Transportes Aéreos

Inaugural Flight and Delayed Salaries

About six weeks before launching the company's first flight, the ITA Transportes Aéreos requested the end of the judicial reorganization process, which had been ongoing since 2016, as published in Exame in May. 

Former employees contested the request to terminate the judicial reorganization plan, which was filed with the 1st Court of Bankruptcy and Judicial Reorganization of the City of São Paulo. Creditors and associates claimed at the time that they had not received their salaries.

Even with lower value flights, ITA Transportes Aéreos received frequent complaints about canceled and not reallocated tickets. 

Recently, during the high season, the company released a statement informing the end of operations. Early and unannounced termination, with canceled flights one week before Christmas, had a negative impact and opened new questions about the company.

Owner of the Itapemirim Group opens a company abroad

In all, more than 4,500 Itapemirim employees are awaiting late payments. Meanwhile, creditors are filing for bankruptcy on the company, which has accumulated a loss of R$ 176.33 million since December 2016. 

Despite the debts assumed and a huge apparent management problem, the labor lawsuits and the judicial reorganization did not prevent Grupo Itapemirim from investing in new markets, including the air transport sector. 

Shortly before the closing announcement of the ITA Transportes Aéreos, which had the sudden departure of employees in all the airports that the company operated, a matter of the Congress in Focus exclusively brought a new venture by the owner of Itapemirim Group.

Even with the company's administrative problems, Sidnei Piva, owner of the Itapemirim Group, opened another brand in London, on one of the most famous streets, worth about 6 billion at the current price. 

According to journalist Vanessa Lippelt, the £780 million investment brought the group's owner's name back into the spotlight, in the same week that news of the shutdown shakes the company's name on the market.

SS Space Capital Group UK Ltd, offshore set up in the UK, works with investment funds and financial services. In the documents of registration at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in the United Kingdom, Sidnei Piva appears as president of the company.

How will ITA passengers be re-accommodated?

In a new statement made last Sunday (19), the ITA Transportes Aéreos informs the press about the re-accommodation of passengers who have suffered cancellations. 

Grupo Itapemirim advises that “only customers who are away from home, and who have previously traveled with ITA, contact the company’s service channels, exclusively for re-accommodation back to their destinations of origin.”

According to the statement, for tourists who had scheduled flights and who are still in their home cities, a full refund will be made. 

Meanwhile, only the next episodes of this story will be able to define what will be the real damage to the creditors, passengers and employees of the company.

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