A flag carrier is a transportation company, such as an airline or shipping company, that, being locally registered in a given state, enjoys preferential rights or privileges, accorded by the government, for international operations. It may be a state-run, state-owned or private but state-designated company or organization. Flag carriers may be known as such due to maritime law requiring all aircraft or ships to display the state flag of the country of their registry.
A flag carrier (if it is a certificated airline rather than a holding company, conglomerate, or multinational private equity firm) may also be known as a national airline or a national carrier, although this can have different legal meanings in some countries.
Alitalia—Compagnia Aerea Italiana S.p.A. (English: Alitalia — Italian Air Company), operating as Alitalia, is the flag carrier and national airline of Italy, which took over the name, the landing rights, many planes and some other assets from the liquidation process of the old Alitalia — Linee Aeree Italiane and the entire Air One. The company has its head office in Fiumicino, Italy. Its main hub is Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport, Rome.
Alitalia is Italy's biggest airline, and the world's 19th. The name "Alitalia" is an Italian portmanteau of the words ali (wings), and Italia (Italy).