Netflix fires the organizer of a trans employee walkout

A picture of Dave Chapelle during "The Closer."
Dave Chappelle during “The Closer.”

  • An unnamed Netflix employee was fired for leaking internal data, the company said.
  • Netflix is under fire for supporting Dave Chappelle’s comedy special, which features transphobic jokes.
  • The ex-employee organized a planned October 20 walkout in protest of Netflix’s stance.

Netflix said Friday it had fired the leader of a trans resource group at the company for leaking financial data “outside the company.”

The now ex-employee, who did not want to share their identity for fear of online harassment, but who the Verge reported is “Black” and “pregnant,” is accused of sending information to Bloomberg detailing the higher-than-average cost to produce Dave Chappelle‘s latest Netflix special, “The Closer,” which has been criticized for containing transphobic comments. The individual was also in charge of staging a walkout on October 20 to protest Netflix’s handling of the controversial comedy special.

Hollywood Reporter first reported the firing on Friday.

“We have let go of an employee for sharing confidential, commercially sensitive information outside the company,” a Netflix spokesperson said to Insider on Friday. “We understand this employee may have been motivated by disappointment and hurt with Netflix, but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is core to our company.”

The employee told Bloomberg that Netflix spent exorbitant amounts of money to produce Dave Chapelle’s comedy specials.

According to the Bloomberg report, Netflix spent a whopping $24.1 million on The Closer and $23.6 million on Chappelle’s 2019 special, “Sticks & Stones.” For comparison, Netflix spent $21.4 million to produce the cultural phenomenon “Squid Game.” The internal documents also revealed that Chappelle’s 2019 special had an “impact value” of $19.4 million, meaning the special cost more to produce than it created in value for the company.

A Netflix spokesperson said a review of internal logs found that only one employee had accessed the information shared with Bloomberg.

Critics tore into “The Closer,” which debuted October 5, after the comedian made transphobic comments in the special, including “gender is a fact” and voicing support for “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, who has made anti-trans comments in the past.

Multiple Netflix employees took to social media condemning the special and Netflix’s decision to give Chappelle a platform. LGBTQ+ comedian Hannah Gadsby criticized Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos in an Instagram post on Friday, after Sarandos referenced her in a memo defending the decision to air Chappelle’s special. Jaclyn Moore, who identifies as trans and works as an executive producer on Netflix’s “Dear White People,” announced she would stop working with the company, which she said profits from “blatantly and dangerously transphobic content.”

Meanwhile, Netflix reinstated trans employee Terra Field and two others who were suspended for attending an executive meeting uninvited to protest Chappelle’s special.

“Our employees are encouraged to disagree openly, and we support their right to do so,” a Netflix spokesperson previously told Insider.

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Biden concedes Democrats ‘are not going to get $3.5 trillion’ for their social spending bill as Manchin and Sinema force huge cuts

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the Capitol Child Development Center, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Hartford, Conn.

  • Biden publicly acknowledged that his $3.5 trillion social spending bill will need to be cut.
  • “We’ll get less than that, but we’re going to get it,” he said.
  • He also appeared to suggest some measures like tuition-free community college could be dropped.

President Joe Biden conceded on Friday that Congressional Democrats weren’t going to get the full $3.5 trillion social spending bill that was outlined earlier this summer, the first time he’s publicly acknowledged the price tag needed to be cut in the face of resistance from a small but potent group of centrists in his party.

“I’m convinced we’re going to get it done. We’re not going to get $3.5 trillion,” he said at a speech at a childcare center in Hartford, Connecticut. “We’ll get less than that, but we’re going to get it, and we’re going to come back and get the rest.”

Biden also appeared to suggest some measures in the safety-net bill could be dropped entirely. “I don’t know if I can get it done, but I’ve also proposed two years of free community college,” he said.

The president’s remarks illustrate the tenuous state of the negotiations between Democrats and Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona on their safety net bill. It includes childcare subsidies, new Medicare benefits, Medicaid expansion a revamped child tax credit, affordable housing and more. All are on the chopping block with Democrats struggling to resolve major differences on the scale of tax increases and which priorities to fund.

Biden has privately floated a $2 trillion price tag as a possible compromise.

Many Democrats are growing frustrated with the pair since they want to approve the legislation as quickly as possible so new federal benefits get out the door quickly ahead of next year’s midterms. But negotiations are stalling out, partly over Sinema’s resistance to lifting tax rates for individuals and large businesses.

The party is pushing the spending plan through a process known as reconciliation. That allows Democrats to approve it with a simple majority and skirt unified GOP opposition. But Democrats need both Manchin’s and Sinema’s votes for the plan to clear the 50-50 Senate, making unanimity in the upper chamber imperative to their success.

Biden appeared to suggest that another reconciliation bill could be in the cards, a possibility some House Democrats haven’t been ruling out for next year. The White House didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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Delta announced 3 new routes to Panama in its latest network expansion

Touring Delta Air Lines' new terminal at LaGuardia Airport  - Delta Hard Hat Tour 2021
Touring Delta Air Lines’ new terminal at LaGuardia Airport.

  • Delta Air Lines is launching three new routes and one additional frequency to Panama City, Panama this winter.
  • The expansion will mark Delta’s highest number of flights to the country since it started service there in 1998.
  • Delta’s flight from Orlando will be the carrier’s only international route out of the central Florida city.

Delta Air Lines is focusing on Panama City, Panama in its latest network expansion, announcing three all-new nonstop routes to the Central American country on Friday.

Delta is launching three new routes to Panama City in December from Los Angeles, Orlando, and New York, expanding its operation in the country to 13 weekly flights, which is an 80% increase in capacity since 2019, according to the airline. In addition to new routes, the airline is also adding a second Saturday-only frequency from its hub in Atlanta, set to begin on December 18. According to Delta, this winter will mark the highest number of flights to Panama since beginning service there in 1998.

“From its breathtaking beaches and vibrant culture to its competitive economy in Latin America, Panama is a highly sought destination for business and leisure travelers alike,” said Luciano Macagno, Delta’s managing director – Latin America, Caribbean, and South Florida. “With our new direct flights from our L.A. and JFK hubs that offer significant U.S. connectivity, as well as the demand from the local Orlando community, we’re looking forward to introducing Delta’s signature hospitality and exceptional onboard experience to more customers planning their next trip.”

The launch of these routes indicates Delta sees strong business and leisure demand to the country, which has had a good recovery since the pandemic. According to Cirium data for October, airlines are operating 83% of the flights offered to Panama during the same time in 2019. Tourism in Panama spiked over the summer, with over 50,000 visitors in June 2021, according to CEIC data, compared to the 30,000 in May. However, this is still well below 2019 levels which saw over 120,000 tourists.

Delta will face strong competition from Panama’s national carrier Copa Airlines, which has its “Hub of the Americas” in Panama City. Last month, the airline joined the government in promoting tourism in the country, including launching its “Panama Stopover” and “Panama Irresistible” programs, according to Spanish aviation media outlet Aviaci Online.

The stopover initiative, which was done with the support of the Tourism Promotion Fund, known as PROMTUR, offers travelers the option to add a multi-day stop in Panama City to their reservation at no additional cost.

“One of the main objectives of PROMTUR Panama is to generate demand for international travelers through strategic alliances, and programs such as the Panama Stopover, align our efforts to position the country as a tourist destination in an attractive way for the thousands of tourists who travel through Copa Airlines,” said PROMTUR’s general director Fernando Fondevila.

Meanwhile, the company’s “Panama Irresistible” program offers discounts to Panama from dozens of cities in its network, including Los Angeles and Orlando, according to Aviaci Online.

Here’s a closer look at Delta’s new routes to Panama.

Between Orlando and Panama City, Panama

City skyline and Lake Eola at Orlando in Florida
Orlando, Florida

Delta will launch Saturday-only flights between Orlando and Panama City on December 18 using a Boeing 737-900 aircraft, which can carry 180 passengers. The outbound will depart Orlando at 10:30 a.m. and land in Panama City at 1:50 p.m., with the return leaving at 3:20 p.m. and arriving at 6:40 p.m. The route will be the airline’s only international flight out of Orlando and will face competition from Copa Airlines.

Between Los Angeles and Panama City, Panama

los angeles skyline
Los Angeles, California

Delta will launch once-daily flights between Los Angeles and Panama City on December 18 using a Boeing 757 aircraft, which can carry 199 passengers. The outbound flight will operate on Saturdays and depart Los Angeles at 8:50 p.m. and land in Panama City at 5:45 a.m. the next day. The return will operate on Sundays and leave at 8:05 a.m. and arrive at 11:15 a.m. Delta will compete with Copa Airlines on the route.

Between New York’s JFK International Airport and Panama City, Panama

Buildings in Manhattan as seen from the tall One Vanderbilt building against a blue sky.
New York City, New York

Delta will launch thrice-weekly flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between New York-JFK and Panama City on December 20 using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which can carry 160 passengers. Frequencies will increase to four times weekly on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in March 2022. The outbound will depart New York in the morning and the return will leave Panama City in the afternoon. Copa Airlines will be Delta’s only competitor.

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The 4 best knife sharpeners we tested in 2021

All of the 4 knife sharpeners we selected on a countertop - best knife sharpener

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • If you own a knife, you should probably own a knife sharpener, unless you want to pay a sharpening service.
  • Our favorite knife sharpener for most kitchens is the Chef’s Choice Trizor XV EdgeSelect.
  • We also have recommendations for manual pull-through, kit (jig system), and portable sharpeners.

There’s no way around it: at some point, your knives are going to need sharpening. And while sharp knives are dangerous, dull knives can be even more so. A dull edge requires more pressure to do its job, making it that much more likely to slip.

Since keeping a knife sharp can be a chore, the best sharpener is the one you’ll actually use. That’s why we spoke with third-generation butcher Pat LaFrieda, who spends just about every night of his life sharpening knives, for his expert input and recommendations.

If you don’t do much food prep or perform too many precise tasks (like, say, slicing sashimi), LaFrieda suggests pull-through sharpeners; they’re about as effective as sharpening steels, but much more user-friendly.

However, if you depend more heavily on your knives, an electric sharpener (if you have the space) is going to make your life easiest, followed by a jig system or a whetstone (just know these have a steeper learning curve).

We tested eleven sharpeners with a variety of knives, noting how easy the sharpeners were to use and how clean of an edge we were able to achieve on each blade. Below, we have recommendations for electric sharpeners, kits (jig systems), multi-stage pull-through sharpeners, and even one for taking on the go.

Here are the best knife sharpeners of 2021

The best knife sharpener overall

The Chef’s Choice Trizor XV EdgeSelect on a kitchen countertop with several chef’s knives in the foreground

The Chef’s Choice Trizor XV makes sharpening knives at home as quick and foolproof as can be.

Pros: Fast, even, precise, multiple bevel angles and ways to sharpen for different types of knives

Cons: Doesn’t work well with small (paring) knives or scissors

Electric sharpeners are the fastest, easiest, and most dependable tool for sharpening knives, and the Chef’s Choice Trizor XV offers three different bevels of 25, 20, and 15 degrees. Starting with the 25-degree bevel, you can work your way down to 15 degrees. For context, the sharpest kitchen knives on the market top out at 14 degrees, which is sharp enough to slice sashimi. 

The proof is in the testing, of course.  I took the edge off of a Victorinox Fibrox Extra Wide 8″ Chef’s Knife (our top recommendation for a budget chef’s knife) using concrete, and after less than five minutes running it through all three stages of the Trizor XV, it was shaving a path right through the hair on the back of my hand — something it couldn’t do very well even right out of the factory.

A three-stage sharpener includes a coarse stage, which takes off the most metal, a finer stage that evens out the burr (overhanging metal on the edge of the blade) from the coarse stage, and a third stage performs the stropping or honing function, usually using ceramic as opposed to the diamond-coated steel in the first two stages. Running your knives through the third stage every few weeks will keep the blades fresh and extend the time between sharpening.

What we like most about the Trizor XV (the XV refers to the 15-degree sharpener) is the spring-loaded sharpening blades that grip the knife’s edge at the correct angle, preventing you from damaging the blade as you pull it through. This is the main problem with pull-through sharpeners: too much pressure or a slight tilt as you draw the blade through and you’ll actually end up dulling your knife, or at least making a jagged edge that will be tough to fix.

The Trizor XV is also easy to store (there are no parts beyond the unit itself) and it requires almost no maintenance beyond occasional light cleaning, which involves opening a catchment system for filings.

While running through the three stations in order is the general way to sharpen a basic chef’s knife, you can also mix things up to better suit different types of blades. For example, Chef’s Choice recommends using stage one followed by stage three if your knife is intended for butchering, field dressing, or “highly fibrous material” in general. This helps retain “micro flutes” (flouted channels running near and perpendicular to the edge), which create a more abrupt edge to cut through fibers.

When it comes to filleting, you can use stages two and three, which will help retain even finer micro flutes, and prevent tender meat from tearing. 

Lastly, running your knife through the third station will strop and polish blades, which will remove any burrs (or wire edge) and give it a light sharpening. You can do this every couple or few weeks to keep your blades fresh and extend the time between sharpening.

The best budget knife sharpener

Müeller’s Heavy-Duty 4-Stage Diamond Sharpener - our pick for the best knife sharpener on a budget - on a kitchen countertop

Müeller’s Heavy-Duty 4-Stage Diamond Sharpener takes care of most knives and scissors for a surprisingly impressive result without breaking the bank.

Pros: Sharpens scissors as well as knives, three stages for knives

Cons: Doesn’t sharpen serrated knives, not the finest edge, but more than good enough for most

A pull-through sharpener strikes a happy balance between quality and convenience. You’re not going to get an edge that will appease a sushi chef, but you’ll be able to slice tomatoes (or trim raw fish for that matter) with the end result.

We tested seven pull-through sharpeners and found that Müeller’s Heavy-Duty 4-Stage Diamond Sharpener turned out the best edges with the least amount of difficulty and margin for error.

All of our research and expert interviews pointed us to three-stage sharpeners, and our testing confirmed that three stages seem to offer the best edge from a pull-through, but this model’s fourth stage, for scissors, certainly doesn’t hurt. Couple that with the fact that this sharpener is about the same price as less-intensive single-stage ones, and we had our pick.

We sharpened cheap drawer scissors and kitchen shears, as well as nearly-destroyed bait knives and fine German steel with this sharpener and while we didn’t get a perfect edge on the latter two (that would be tough with most sharpeners), we did get them serviceable again.

The most common issue we ran up against with pull-through sharpeners was getting a bite on edges without coarsely gouging away at them, which can be disastrous. With the exception of wider-angled pocket knife blades, everything ran through the Müeller smoothly, and most jobs were done in a matter of minutes.

No, you’re not going to completely restore knives with jagged edges or broken tips using this pull-through or any other, but for a quick but respectable edge freshening, nothing we tried within this price range offered the same treatment.

The best knife sharpening kit

A knife being sharpened using the Edge Pro Apex 2

Edge Pro’s Apex 2 offers the whetstone experience with foolproof control, allowing you to get your edges (almost) as sharp as the pros.

Pros: Sharpens all knives, adjustable bevel settings

Cons: Suction-cup grip doesn’t work on all surfaces, best for kitchen knives (you can augment your kit for other knives though)

A sharpening kit, and specifically a jig system like Edge Pro’s Apex 2, is essentially a whetstone kit with training wheels. You get absolute control while using the most traditional sharpening tools (a set of ceramic stones) without the hassle of having to intimately understand the edges of your blades.

Edge Pro offers several different kits, but the Apex 2 is a great place to start for those just looking to sharpen kitchen knives. You get three stones of 220, 400, and 600 grit ceramic, the kit itself, an 8″ ceramic hone, a microfiber towel, a water bottle for careful dousing, and a black carrying case. It’s everything you need and nothing you don’t.

We found the Apex 2 exceptionally easy to set up and put to work, thanks to the marked angles on the vertical rod on which the jig pivots. We also appreciated the instruction manual; it offers tips on how to find the edge of your blade by using a permanent marker, which will ensure you don’t ruin it.

If you’re new to sharpening, you’ll probably want to practice on a knife that you’re not terribly worried about, but you’ll get comfortable soon enough (and much sooner than if you were to use whetstones freehand). 

The only thing we don’t like about the Apex kits is that they’re held in place by suction cups. While they work extremely well on high-gloss surfaces, they wouldn’t stick to my workbench or my card table, where I like to handle messier tasks, and I had to buy a bench mount for $27. That said, since most people are sharpening in their kitchen and many might not have enough of an overhanging edge on their countertops for a vice or clamp, we understand how the suction cups may be useful.  

We’ve recommended the Apex 4 in the past because it’s a little better suited to polishing Japanese knives, but it’s not necessary for most people, and you’ll do just fine with everything from shears to serrated knives using the Apex 2.

This kit will last you an incredibly long time, and it will handle every kind of knife in your kitchen and then some (though if you really want to branch out you may want to invest in a few other items). We brought back everything from absolutely tortured bait knives from a fishing boat to chipped carbon blades on Japanese knives with little trouble at all. Plus, we have to admit that it’s sort of fun to use.

The best compact knife sharpener

The kitchen IQ pull-through sharpener resting on a kitchen counter

If you don’t have room in your kitchen for a full-sized sharpener or you want something you can take on the go, the KitchenIQ Edge Grip 2 Stage Sharpener will get the job done and neatly tuck away.

Pros: Small, stable, effective for basic sharpening and finishing, works on serrated blades

Cons: You won’t get as refined of an edge as with a three-stage sharpener, not good for scissors 

The Kitchen IQ 2-Stage Knife Sharpener is almost as basic as knife sharpening gets, and if it’s the difference between you owning a sharpener — any sharpener — and not, spend the $10 and your knife work will become infinitely better, and perhaps more importantly, safer.

There’s not much to this little number: the carbide blades make up the coarse treatment and the ceramic ones do the fine work to touch up the edge. What we like about it over the others in this size class is that it does have two stages as opposed to one, and it is incredibly stable with a low center of gravity and a comfortable grip. Out of almost all of the sharpeners we tested, this was by far the least likely to topple over.

Of course, it also fits in your drawer, or your pocket for that matter. Either way, it’s not going to occupy precious space, and you can take it on the go. It’s not going to perform any miracle work on far-gone cutlery, but keeping it in regular use will keep the working knives you do have in commission, which is all most of us need anyhow.

It’s a great backup tool to have in your kitchen, and easy enough to pull out of the drawer and draw a knife or two through it a few times before prepping for dinner. It won’t break the bank, and you may rely on it more than you expect.

What else we tested

All of the different knife sharpeners we tasted on a table

AccuSharp: This one doesn’t offer the cleanest sharpening, but it is extremely safe and does a decent touch-up for those less inclined to spend time sharpening knives. Still, we found it to be the quickest and easiest to use, which goes a long way.

Lansky D-Sharp: This is a great pick for those looking to take a sharpener on the go, and especially those looking to keep a variety of knives sharp. With 17-, 21-, and 25-degree angles as well as a ceramic edge for honing, you can use this palm-sized sharpener with anything from a fillet knife to a pocket knife. This doesn’t do the finest job, but it’s versatile, extremely thin (about half an inch) and only a few inches long, so it’ll fit in any kit.

Work Sharp E2: If you want a more affordable option for an electric sharpener, this is a great (and more compact) option, but you’ll have to operate it with a little more finesse or you’ll torture your blade like you would misusing most any sharpener. Unlike the Chef’s Choice Trizor XV, it also works well with scissors.

Our testing methodology

A line of knives sits next to a bowl of tomatoes as part of testing for the best kitchen knife set in 2021

We dulled a few different types of knives for this guide, ranging from lower-quality 440 stainless steel (including a cheap pocket knife) to mid-quality X50CrMoV15 steel to finer VG-10 (a relatively high-carbon steel with vanadium and chromium and molybdenum for a hybrid between German- and Japanese-style blades).

We then ran each knife through every sharpener we tested (11 in all), weeding out ones that clearly, off the bat, weren’t working as well as others.

After we were pleased with the sharpness of the knife, we ran it through a sheet of paper and along the outward sheet of a folded high-gloss magazine, which is Bob Kramer’s method for testing sharpness. We then took them back to the kitchen where we made sure they could slice tomatoes and skin-on onions under little to no more than their own weight.

We also spoke with metallurgist and MIT senior lecturer Michael J. Tarkanian, as well as Pat LaFrieda, the famed butcher behind LaFrieda Meat Purveyors, to learn what types of sharpeners work best, and which ones should be left to the professionals.

While whetstones and grinding wheels reign supreme, we found through experience and interviews with the experts above, as well as others, that they require a certain level of prowess most home cooks don’t have. Grinding wheels can also be very, very dangerous.

If you’re really after a whetstone, the ones we recommend based on past testing are Smith’s TRI-6 Arkansas TRI-HOME Sharpening System, but generally, we’ve found that electric, pull-through, kits (specifically, jig systems), and portable options are best for most people.

Our general criteria for consideration included:

Convenience: Above all, a sharpener has to be simple enough to use that it doesn’t prevent you from ever putting it to use at all. We made sure that each sharpener we tested worked with basic instructions. A whetstone, on the other hand, requires a level of expertise that most home cooks don’t have. Further to that point, a grinding wheel is incredibly dangerous and has no place in most homes. We also took note of efficiency: how long did it take to sharpen a knife sufficiently? Although, convenience and quality are generally non-correlative. Specifically, when pull-through sharpeners were quick to sharpen, they usually left edges fairly rough and jagged.

Safety: Sharpening knives can be dangerous, so a stable device is paramount to ensuring safety. Some options we tried didn’t necessarily inspire confidence in that department, so they were set aside. Each of the sharpeners we ended up recommending is on the sturdier and safer side.

Materials: We found that kits with whetstones offered the most precision, but a combination of diamond and ceramic pull-through options offered a lot for the relatively quick pass most home cooks are willing to give their knives.

Versatility: Some sharpeners — including most pull-through options — only offer a single setting. These work in a pinch, but we found that at least three options (one for coarse sharpening, one for fine sharpening, and one for polishing) serviced a knife best, while a fourth, for scissors and serrated blades, offered the most versatility.

Size: We considered sharpeners based on size depending on where one might keep them. Some fit in drawers, some required a devoted shelf within a cabinet, and others fit in your pocket. Larger sharpeners performed better almost across the board, but we also considered the needs of those looking for a portable sharpener.

What we look forward to testing

Several knives halfway into a cardboard postal envelope

We are still looking at more pull-through options, but we will also be recommending both honing steels (we haven’t found much difference from one brand to the next, but we’re happy with this one from Victorinox) and e-commerce-based sharpening services.

Chef’s Choice Pronto Pro 4643: This is a pull-through option we’ve recommended in the past, but after testing and researching so many more, we’re not sure you need to spend so much on a pull-through sharpener, as you can find quality electric sharpeners for about the same price. We’ll be putting it through more testing and reporting back soon.

KnifeAid: At nearly $13 a sharpening, this is probably going to cost you a little more than taking your knives to a local sharpener — provided you have one. For convenience’s sake, we’re going to consider KnifeAid and other sharpening services. The one thing you’ll need to keep in mind is that your knives will be out for a while, so you’ll need a backup or three in the meantime.


Angle: Each blade edge has an angle set in the factory. Most kitchen knives will range from about 14° to 20° per side.

Bevel: The surface of a blade that has been ground to create the angle and edge

Edge: The sharp side(s) of a blade

Electric sharpeners: Electric sharpeners are similar to pull-through, but with exponential precision. These are the best for most people where convenience, efficiency, and precision are concerned. They do tend to be larger and harder to store, though.

Honing: Maintaining (by way of aligning) the edge of a blade

Jig systems, or kits: You can think of a jig system or kit as a whetstone with training wheels. You’re still using and wetting ceramic stones, you just have a stationary axis that allows you to position the jig (to which the stone attaches) and measure out precise angles. These are more involved than other options, but behind a whetstone, they offer most of us the optimal end result.

Pull-through sharpeners: The most basic option, but also the most cursory, a pull-through sharpener is made using opposing steel (often diamond-coated) and sometimes ceramic edges, which remove steel from the edge of your blade as you draw it through the wedge. These will do the job for quick touch-ups but don’t usually perform well when trying to bring back a seriously dull or damaged blade.

Stropping: The polishing of a blade, often with leather, after it has been sharpened

Whetstone: While whetstones indisputably offer the greatest sharpening potential, they really only do so in the hands of a pro. If you’re looking to make a hobby of knife sharpening, be our guest, but know that you’ll have a learning curve with which to contend.

Check out our other great knife buying guides

9 knife sets lined up on a granite countertop
Too many knives.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Domino’s has a shortage of delivery drivers, so its CEO is hoping you’ll drive to the restaurant to pickup your pizza instead

  • Domino’s same-store sales fell last quarter for the first time in a decade.
  • Pizza chains thrived during the pandemic with delivery.
  • Now, a lack of drivers may be ending the pizza boom.

In Domino’s just-released earnings results, and same-store sales dropped for the first time in 10 years.

Before the 1.9% decline in sales of the last three months, the pandemic created a boom for pizza businesses. Domino’s, like other pizza chains, was able to keep nearly all US stores open as other restaurants were forced to shut down dining rooms. Early on in the pandemic, restaurant industry analysts Saleh and Roger Lipton named Domino’s as one of the chain’s best positioned to survive the pandemic.

Pizza chains had a major advantage over competitors for the last year and a half. They already had the infrastructure and customer base for delivery – on-premise dining was a much smaller part of their business than other chains, so they had less business to lose. Growth was strongest in the early days of the pandemic, with same-store sales growth topping 10% in the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2020.

Shrinking sales might not reflect lower demand, but Domino’s doesn’t have enough workers to keep up the earlier pace. CEO Richard Allison acknowledged the labor shortage as an issue for the chain in an earnings call, saying “staffing has been a challenge.”

Business owners across the industry say they’re unable to find staff and in some cases even cite a lack of desire to work, while workers say they can demand better pay and benefits in the tight labor market.

Allison said that overall staffing levels in the quarter were lower in the first half of 2021. While there are labor shortages across the business, the chain is most lacking drivers, he said.

Domino’s plans to focus on growing carryout orders, which do not require drivers, Allison said.

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at

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How to write an MLA format paper in Google Docs using a template or other built-in features

young student using laptop and textbooks at desk
Google Docs is a great tool for writing MLA formatted papers.

  • Google Docs has all the features you need to write a paper in MLA format.
  • The basics of MLA format include double-spaced lines, one-inch margins, headers on all pages, and more.
  • Google Docs also offers an automatic MLA format template, if you don’t want to set it up manually.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Anyone who has had to write an English paper has heard of MLA format. MLA – short for Modern Library Association – is a standardized method for writing academic papers. It lays down specific rules for what the page should look like, which font you use, how you cite your sources, and more.

If you’re writing a paper in MLA format, consider using Google Docs. It lets you customize your documents in dozens of ways, making it a great choice for MLA writing.

Here’s how to set up MLA format in Google Docs, either manually or with a template.

How to set up MLA format in Google Docs

MLA format has a variety of different rules and guidelines. Here are the most important ones, along with tips on how to follow those rules in Google Docs.

  • The font needs to be size 12, and written in a “readable” font.

Contrary to popular belief, MLA doesn’t require you to use Times New Roman, just a “readable” or “legible” font. That said, Times New Roman is a great choice for this, and comes installed in Google Docs by default.

You can find it in the font menu at the top of the screen, and you can change the font size with the menu next to it.

The font menu in Google Docs.
There are nearly two dozen pre-installed fonts.

  • Every page needs to have one-inch margins on all sides.

You probably don’t need to worry about this one – new Google Docs documents have one-inch margins by default.

But if you want to double-check, or if you’ve been told to not use one-inch margins, you can change the margins using the Page Setup menu or ruler feature.

  • All body text needs to be double-spaced.

There’s a Line & paragraph spacing menu in the toolbar above your document. Select Double in this menu to turn on double-spacing. If you’ve already written some text without double-spacing, highlight it before you turn on double-spacing.

  • Every page needs a header in the top-right corner with your last name and the current page number.

Google Docs lets you place both headers and footers on any page. You can add automatic page numbers through the Insert menu, and then double-click the headers to type your last name next to them.

Remember that they need to be in the same font and font size as the rest of your paper.

(And if you ever need to remove the header, you can do that quickly too.)

Showing how to place a header in Google Docs.
Your page numbers need to be in Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.).

  • The paper’s title should be centered one line above your first paragraph.

Google Docs has four alignment options, which you can find in the toolbar above your document. Click the second option – Center align – to move your cursor to the center of the screen.

  • Your full name, your instructor’s name, the name of the class, and the current date should be written in the top-left corner of the first page, each on a separate line.

Left align is the default alignment setting, so you shouldn’t have to do anything special to write in the top-left. But if you’ve changed the alignment, you can change it back using the alignment options in the toolbar.

An MLA formatted header and title.
Your header and title need different alignments.

  • Body paragraphs all begin with a half-inch indent.

Google Docs has a feature that lets you automatically indent paragraphs – but it’s probably easier to just hit the Tab key on your keyboard at the start of every paragraph.

  • Your paper should end with a Works Cited page, and each entry should be written with a hanging indent.

Once you’ve finished writing your paper and want to move onto the Works Cited, make sure to create a new page. The Works Cited needs to be on its own page (or pages, depending on the length).

The words Works Cited should be centered on the very first line of the page. You can center the words using the alignment options mentioned above.

Finally, list your citations in alphabetical order, and use the ruler to give each one a hanging indent – in other words, every line after the first needs to be indented.

An MLA works cited page in Google Docs.
Your citations should have hanging indents.

How to use Google Docs’ MLA format template

While you can format your paper manually, Google does offer an MLA template. This will let you meet most of the formatting requirements automatically, although you’ll likely need to change some of it.

To use this template:

1. Head to the Google Docs homepage and click Template gallery in the top-right.

2. Scroll down the templates page until you reach the Education section. In this section, click MLA [Add-on].

The MLA Add-on template in Google Docs.
Although it’s marked “Add-on,” you don’t need to do anything to enable it.

3. A page will open with a two-page paper already written in fake Lorem Ipsum language. Most of the formatting is there, so you just need to replace the pre-written words with your own.

You can find this template in the mobile app by tapping the plus sign icon in the bottom-right, and then selecting Choose template.

How to use the Google Docs résumé template to create and edit a professional document for job applicationsHow to save a Google Doc as a PDF and share it on any deviceHow to track changes and add comments in Google Docs using Suggesting modeHow to print directly from Google Docs on any device

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How to use Google Docs’ dark mode on any device to make late-night writing more comfortable on your eyes

professional using laptop at night working with documents
You can use a dark mode in Google Docs on a computer or mobile device.

  • Google Docs’ dark mode can make the writing tool more attractive and comfortable to use in a dark room.
  • You can enable dark mode in the Google Docs app on any iPhone, iPad, or Android device.
  • Dark mode is not available in a browser, but a third-party Chrome browser extension can add it.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Dark mode is a popular interface option that presents bright text on a dark background. While it doesn’t necessarily ease the strain on your eyes, it can prove more comfortable and attractive than dark text on a bright background, especially when using a device in a dark room. Here’s how to enable dark mode in Google Docs.

How to turn on dark mode in Google Docs on iPhone or iPad

Follow these steps to turn on Dark Mode in Google Docs on an iPhone or iPad.

1. Open the Google Docs app.

2. Tap the Options menu, which is represented by three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner of the app.

google docs iphone app - options menu
Tap the three horizontal lines to open a menu.

3. Select Settings.

options menu in google docs app
Choose Settings.

4. Tap Theme.

5. Choose Dark.

google docs app -theme menu
Select Dark.

Google Docs will switch to dark mode immediately.

How to turn on dark mode in Google Docs on Android

These steps will turn on Dark Mode in Google Docs on an Android phone or tablet.

1. Open the Google Docs app.

2. Tap the Options menu. It’s represented by three horizontal lines in the upper left hand corner of the app.

android google docs app - options menu
Tap the three horizontal lines to open a menu.

3. Select Settings.

android google docs app - settings
Tap the Settings option.

4. Tap Choose Theme and select Dark.

choose theme menu in android google docs app
Tap Dark in the pop-up window.

Google Docs will switch to dark mode immediately.

How to turn on dark mode in Google Docs on a computer

Google Docs does not offer a built-in dark mode on a computer. However, you can enable dark mode with a third-party extension. The instructions below apply to Google Docs in the Chrome web browser.

1. Open the Chrome web browser.

2. Visit the Google Docs Dark Mode extension’s page.

3. Select Add to Chrome.

google docs dark mode extension
Click Add to Chrome.

4. Click Add Extension in the pop-up that appears.

The extension will download and install. You must reload any open Google Docs windows for the extension to take effect.

How to use the Google Docs résumé template to create and edit a professional document for job applicationsHow to use voice typing in Google Docs to dictate your textHow to edit Google Docs offline on your computer or smartphoneHow to convert a PDF file to a Google Doc with or without its original formatting

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New airline ITA has officially taken over for Alitalia – see the full history of Italy’s troubled flag carrier

ITA Airways Chairman Alfredo Altavilla poses with rendering of new livery
ITA Airways Chairman Alfredo Altavilla poses with rendering of new livery

  • Government-owned Alitalia ceased operations on October 15, marking the end of its 74-year era.
  • Alitalia has been replaced by ITA Airways, a brand new airline that will not be responsible for the old carrier’s debt.
  • ITA plans to buy 28 Airbus jets, create a new aircraft livery, and launch a new loyalty program.

Alitalia has officially ceased operations and handed the baton to newcomer ITA Airways, which stands for Italian Air Transport.

Italy’s national carrier Alitalia has had a rocky past full of financial struggles, employee strikes, and other damaging events, forcing it to make the decision to cease operations on October 15 after 74 years of service. The airline stopped the sale of tickets in August and has committed to refunding all passengers who were booked on flights after October 14.

On Thursday, the airline flew its final flight from Cagliari, Italy to Rome, according to FlightAware, officially sealing the fate of Alitalia. On Friday, the country’s new flag carrier ITA took its place with a new livery, airplanes, and network, flying its first route from Milan Linate Airport to Bari International Airport in southern Italy.

Here’s a look at Alitalia’s storied past and the plan of its successor.

Alitalia as a brand began in 1946, one year after World War II ended, first flying in 1947 within Italy and quickly expanding to other European countries and even opening intercontinental routes to South America.

Alitalia DC-3
Passengers disembarking from an Alitalia Douglas DC-3 aircraft.

Source: Boeing and Alitalia

The full name of the airline was Italian International Airlines, a joint effort between the United Kingdom through British European Airways – a precursor to British Airways – and the Italian government.

British European Airways Vickers Viscount
A British European Airways Vickers Viscount.

Source: Boeing and Alitalia

True to its name, Alitalia flew its first with Italian aircraft produced by now-defunct manufacturers in aerospace including Fiat and Savoia-Marchetti.

Alitalia Fiat G-12
An Alitalia Fiat G-12.

Source: Boeing and Alitalia

Following a merger with Italy’s other airline, aptly named Italian Airlines or Linee Aeree Italiane, in 1957, Alitalia – Linee Aeree Italiane became Italy’s top carrier.

LAI Douglas DC-3
A Linee Aeree Italiane Douglas DC-3.

Source: Boeing and Alitalia

Armed with a sizeable fleet of 37 aircraft including the four-engine Douglas DC-6 and Corvair 340, the airline was ranked 12 in the world for international carriers.

Passengers disembarking an Alitalia aircraft.

Source: Boeing and Alitalia

As Europe returned to normalcy following the war, so did Italy and the 1960s became a pivotal decade for both the country and its airline as the 1960 Summer Olympics would be held in Rome.

Alitalia Roma 1960
An Alitalia poster highlighting the upcoming Olympic Games in Rome.

Source: Boeing and Alitalia

The year saw Alitalia carry over one million passengers, introduce jets into its fleet, and move to a new home at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.

Rome Fiumicino Airport 1961
Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport in 1961.

Source: Boeing and Alitalia

Alitalia entered the jet age with a mix of European and American aircraft such as the Sud Caravelle SE210…

Alitalia Sud Caravelle
An Alitalia Sud Caravelle.

Source: Boeing and Alitalia

And the Douglas DC-8.

Alitalia DC-8
An Alitalia DC-8.

Source: Boeing and Alitalia

American aircraft largely comprised the airline’s fleet once settled into the jet age with a short-haul fleet featuring the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 and later the McDonnell Douglas MD-80…

Alitalia MD-80
An Alitalia MD-80.

Source: Boeing and Alitalia

Complemented by a similarly American-dominated long-haul fleet consisting of aircraft such as the Boeing 747.

Alitalia Boeing 747 Pope John Paul II
An Alitalia Boeing 747 chartered by Pope John Paul II.

Source: Boeing and Alitalia

The arrival of the 747 was a seminal moment for Alitalia and it was the first aircraft to wear the airline’s famed green, white, and red livery with an “A” shape on the tail.

Alitalia tail
Alitalia’s red and green “A” tail design.

Source: Boeing and Alitalia

Alitalia was the first European airline to transition fully into the jet age and continued the switch with more wide-body aircraft such as the Airbus A300.

Alitalia Airbus A300
An Alitalia Airbus A300.

Source: Boeing and Alitalia

Other aircraft that would join the Alitalia jet fleet included the McDonnell Douglas MD-11, McDonnell Douglas DC-10…

Alitalia McDonnell Douglas MD-11
An Alitalia McDonnell Douglas MD-11.

Source: Boeing and Alitalia

And Boeing 767-300ER for long-haul flights.

Alitalia Boeing 767-300ER
An Alitalia Boeing 767-300ER.

Source: Boeing and Alitalia

Alitalia even had uniforms designed by Georgio Armani, who also contributed to aircraft interior designs.

Georgio Armani
Italian designer Georgio Armani.

Source: Alitalia

The airline’s short-haul fleet later included a European favorite, the Airbus A320 family.

FILE PHOTO: An Alitalia Airbus A320-200 airplane comes in to land at Fiumicino airport in Rome, Italy October 24, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi/File Photo
An Alitalia Airbus A320 airplane approaches to land at Fiumicino airport in Rome

Source: Boeing

As Italy’s national airline, Alitalia was also known for flying the Pope with the papal plane using the flight number AZ4000, better known as Shepherd One

Alitalia Pope Shepard One
An Alitalia plane chartered by the Pope.

Source: Telegraph

Despite rising traffic throughout its history with Italy being a popular European tourist and leisure destination, the airline struggled with profitability.

Alitalia check-in desks at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.

As a state-owned airline, Alitalia could always depend on the government to keep it flying, until the European Union stepped in and forbade financial support in 2006.

Alitalia Airbus A330
An Alitalia Airbus A330.

Source: New York Times

The 2000s then saw serious discussion into Alitalia’s future with the Italian government wanting to sell its stake in the airline. The airline was opened for bidders in 2007 but yielded no results.

A crow flying passed an Alitalia plane.

Source: New York Times

Air France-KLM Group, the parent company of Air France and KLM as well as several smaller European airlines, then offered to buy the struggling airline but couldn’t get labor unions on board and the deal collapsed.

Alitalia/Air France-KLM
Alitalia and Air France-KLM Group signage.

Source: Reuters

The Italian government, not wanting to lose its flag carrier, continued to prop up its airline via emergency loans in violation of European Union rules.

European Commission, Union, Brussels, flag
The European Commission in Brussels.

Source: European Union

The third attempt in two years to sell the airline came after the Air France-KLM Group deal collapsed with an investors group forming the Compagnia Aerea Italiana to purchase the airline, despite heavy pushback from labor unions.

Alitalia Boeing 777
An Alitalia Boeing 777.

Source: Reuters

This Alitalia began operations in 2009, with Air France-KLM soon coming back into the picture taking a 25% stake from CAI.

Air France/Alitalia Joint Venture
Alitalia meeting with Air France, Delta, and KLM executives.

Source: Financial Times

The new airline quickly began differentiating itself from its former self, leasing aircraft instead of purchasing them with the fleet consisting of the Airbus A330 family…

Alitalia Airbus A330
An Alitalia Airbus A330.

Source: FlightGlobal

And Boeing 777 family comprising the airline’s long-haul fleet.

Alitalia Boeing 777
An Alitalia Boeing 777.

Source: FlightGlobal

It wasn’t long before Alitalia was plagued with issues ranging from union strikes to underperforming subsidiaries and even a sting operation that saw Alitalia employees arrested for theft, according to contemporaneous news reports.

Alitalia strike
Alitalia workers protesting at Fiumicino Airport.

Source: New York Times and BBC

With bankruptcy looming in 2013, Alitalia secured another bailout with help from the government that highlighted the need for restructuring.

Alitalia Airbus A320
An Alitalia Airbus A320.

Source: New York Times

Alitalia saw a new investor in 2015, Eithad Airways, which would take a 49% stake in the airline and Alitalia – Compagnia Aerea Italiana became Alitalia – Societa Aerea Italiana.

Alitalia and Etihad celebrating a new partnership.

Source: Alitalia

With a new investor in tow, Alitalia began cost-cutting measures but facing a backlash from employees due to planned job cuts, the airline began bankruptcy proceedings and the government announced Alitalia would be auctioned.

Alitalia and Etihad
Alitalia and Etihad’s merger livery.

Source: Reuters

Meanwhile, another airline was positioning itself to become the new Italian flag carrier, the aptly named Air Italy.

Air Italy Airbus A330 200
An Air Italy Airbus A330-200.

Rebranded from Meridiana, a regional Italian airline, Air Italy was jointly owned by private company Alisarda and Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways Boeing 777
A Qatar Airways Boeing 777-200LR.

The airline chose Milan as its main hub ceding Rome to Alitalia. Long-haul flights from Milan to New York began in June 2018, with expansion to Asia happening soon after.

Air Italy Marco Rigotti
Air Italy’s inaugural ceremony for Milan-New York flights.

Affected by the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max and without the Italian government as a benefactor, Air Italy closed up shop in early 2020, giving back full control of Italy to Alitalia.

Alitalia Airbus A320
An Alitalia Airbus A320.

While Air Italy was getting its start, the Italian government would once again seek outside investors with European, North American, and Asian airlines expressing interest in Alitalia.

Alitalia aircraft
Alitalia aircraft in Italy.

Among those interested were UK low-cost carrier EasyJet…

FILE PHOTO: EasyJet airplanes are pictured at Tegel airport in Berlin, Germany, November 14, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo
EasyJet airplanes are pictured at Tegel airport in Berlin.

Source: Bloomberg

Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair…

FILE PHOTO: A Ryanair commercial passenger jet takes off in Blagnac near Toulouse, France, May 29, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo
A Ryanair commercial passenger jet takes off in Blagnac near Toulouse.

Source: The Guardian

The Lufthansa Group…

Lufthansa airplanes are seen parked on the tarmac during a strike of cabin crew union (UFO) at Frankfurt airport, Germany November 7, 2019. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo
Strike of Germany’s cabin crew union UFO at Frankfurt airport.

Source: CNBC

Delta Air Lines…

Delta Air Lines Boeing 777
A Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-200.

Source: Bloomberg

And China Eastern Airlines…

china eastern airlines airplane
A China Eastern Airlines Airbus A320.

Source: Reuters

As well as Italian railway group Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane.

Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane
A Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane train.

Source: Reuters

One after the other, the airlines dropped their interest, and ultimately, the Italian government re-nationalized the airline on March 17 during the coronavirus pandemic.

Alitalia coronavirus.
Alitalia was re-nationalized amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Reuters


Despite bailouts from the state, the pandemic and subsequent lockdown of Italy took the ultimate toll on Alitalia, forcing it to make the decision to close the airline and launch a new one.

Alitalia aircraft in the Frankfurt airport
Alitalia aircraft at the Frankfurt airport

Source: The Local

On August 25, the airline stopped selling tickets and announced on its website that it would be offering free flight changes or refunds for passengers booked on Alitalia flights after October 14.

People at Alitalia check in counter
People at Alitalia check in counter

Source: The Local

When the airline ceased operations, its successor, Italia Transporto Aereo, took its place. Alitalia’s last flight flew from Cagliari, Italy to Rome on October 14, and ITA launched operations with a flight from Milan to Bari, Italy on October 15.

ITA app and logo
ITA app and logo

Source: AeroTime

Talks between the European Commission and Italy over Alitalia and ITA began in March 2021, with Rome designating 3 billion euros ($3.6 billion) to establish the new flag carrier.

ITA signage at Catania airport
ITA signage at Catania airport

Source: Reuters

Initially, ITA was slated to begin operations in April 2021, but lengthy discussions between Italy and the European Commission delayed its launch.

Flags outside European Commission building in Brussels
Flags outside European Commission building in Brussels

Source: Reuters

Part of the negotiations focused on confirming ITA’s independence of Alitalia to ensure it did not inherit the billions of debt the old carrier owed to the state.

Alitalia Airbus A319
Alitalia Airbus A319

Source: Reuters

Talks also included asking ITA to forfeit half of Alitalia’s slots at Milan Linate Airport, which the airline was unwilling to do.

Alitalia aircraft sit at Milan Linate airport
Alitalia aircraft sit at Milan Linate airport

Source: Reuters

ITA determined giving up that many slots at Linarte would be too big of a loss and proposed forfeiting slots at Rome Fiumicino Airport as a compromise.

Alitalia check in counter Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino airport
Alitalia check in counter Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino airport

Source: Reuters

At the end of the discussions, negotiators agreed to allow ITA to keep 85% of slots at Linate and 43% at Fiumicino.

Green ribbon barrier with the ITA airline logo inside the Leonardo da Vinci airport
Green ribbon barrier with the ITA airline logo inside the Leonardo da Vinci airport

Source: Reuters

Also under negotiation was Alitalia’s brand and its loyalty program, MilleMiglia. The European Commission said ITA would have to give up both.

Alitalia Airbus A320
Alitalia Airbus A320

Source: Reuters

Under European Commission rules, MilleMiglia cannot be bought by ITA and must be put out for public tender, meaning another airline or entity outside the aviation industry can purchase the program. There are an estimated five million MilleMiglia miles that customers have not been able to use.

Customer checking into an Alitalia flight
Customer checking into an Alitalia flight

Source: EuroNews

However, ITA was able to bid on Alitalia’s brand, which it did the day before its launch. The airline bought the Alitalia name for €90 million ($104 million), though ITA executives say they don’t plan on replacing the ITA name.

Alitalia aircraft
Alitalia aircraft

Source: Reuters

ITA began operations on October 15, the day after Alitalia’s last flight. The new airline secured €700 million ($830 million) in funding earlier this year, which helped it purchase some of Alitalia’s assets.

Alitalia employees with new livery in 2015
Alitalia employees with new livery in 2015

Source: Reuters

The successor acquired 52 of Alitalia’s aircraft, seven being wide-bodies, and has plans to purchase and lease new ones, the first of which will enter the fleet in early 2022.

Alitalia Boeing 777
Alitalia Boeing 777

Source: Reuters

By 2025, the airline expects to have 105 aircraft in its fleet and earn over 3.3 billion euros in revenue.

ITA logo with Alitalia aircraft passing in front
ITA logo with Alitalia aircraft

Source: ReutersAirways Magazine

Moreover, ITA plans to renew its fleet with next-generation aircraft, which is expected to make up 77% of its fleet in four years. According to ITA, the aircraft will reduce CO2 emissions by 750 thousand pounds from 2021 to 2025.

Milan Linate Airport
Milan Linate Airport

Source: Airways Magazine, ITA Airways

The 31 new-generation planes, which include short, medium, and long-haul aircraft, will be leased by Air Lease Corporation.

Airbus A320neo
Airbus A320neo

Source: Airways Magazine

Meanwhile, 28 new Airbus jets, including ten Airbus A330neos, seven Airbus A220 family aircraft, and 11 Airbus A320neo family jets, will be purchased.

Airbus A220
Airbus A220

Source: Airways Magazine

As part of a carbon-reducing project, the first 10 flights to depart Rome on October 15 will use sustainable aviation fuels made by Italian energy company Eni. The project will contribute to the EU’s “Fit for 55” proposal, which strives to reduce carbon emissions by at least 55% by 2030.

Eni headquarters in Rome
Eni headquarters in Rome

Source: Airways Magazine

ITA introduced a new livery on launch day, which includes a light blue paint scheme representing unity, cohesion, and pride of the nation, as well as homage to Italy’s national sports team, which wears sky blue during competitions. On the tail will be the Italian tricolor of red, white, and green.

ITA Airways Chairman Alfredo Altavilla poses with rendering of new livery
ITA Airways Chairman Alfredo Altavilla poses with rendering of new livery

Source: Airways Magazine

In regards to its network, the carrier launched with 59 routes to 44 destinations. ITA plans to increase its routes to 74 in 2022 and 89 by 2025, while destinations are expected to increase to 58 in 2022 and 74 by 2025.

ITA logo
ITA logo

Source: Airways Magazine

ITA will focus its operation out of Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci International Airport and Milan Linate Airport, establishing itself as a “reference airline” for both business and leisure travelers.

Rome Fiumicino Airport

Source: Airways Magazine

The carrier also plans to target the North American market, with flights from Rome to New York launching on November 4.

Buildings in Manhattan as seen from the tall One Vanderbilt building against a blue sky.

Source: CNN

As for the over 11,000 Alitalia workers, 70% were hired to work for ITA, which has 2,800 employees. 30% of that came from outside Alitalia. The company plans to add 1,000 new jobs in 2022 and reach 5,750 employees by 2025.

Alitalia staff at Milan Linate
Alitalia staff at Milan Linate

Source: Reuters, Airways Magazine

ITA plans to improve upon Alitalia’s services, including incentivizing good customer service by attaching employee salary with customer satisfaction.

Alitalia staff
Alitalia staff

Source: CNN

ITA has set up a loyalty program called Volare, effective October 15, which is split into four levels: smart, plus, premium, and executive. Customers can use accrued points for any flight in ITA’s system.

ITA app
ITA app

Source: Airways Magazine

According to ITA executives, the company plans to join a major international alliance, though it has not stated which one it prefers. Alitalia was aligned with the SkyTeam alliance, which is comprised of carriers like Delta, Air France, and KLM.

Alitalia Embraer 190LR SkyTeam livery
Alitalia Embraer 190LR SkyTeam livery

Source: CNN, Reuters

However, ITA chairman Alfredo Altavilla said it was open to all options. “ITA can’t be a stand-alone carrier forever,” he said.

Alitalia Boeing 767 SkyTeam livery
Alitalia Boeing 767 SkyTeam livery

Source: Reuters

While it is the end of an era with the closing of Alitalia, there are high hopes for its successor. “ITA Airways has been created to intercept the recovery of air traffic in the coming years on the strength of the foundations of its strategy: sustainability, digitalization, customer focus, and innovations,” said ITA CEO Fabio Lazzerini.

Alitalia plane with ITA logo
Alitalia plane with ITA logo

Source: Airways Magazine

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