A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 18, 2013
Always Late In Takeoff, Always Late In Arrival (Alitalia backronymic nickname)

Alitalia is the national airline of Italy and is named from the words ali (wings), and Italia (Italy). Alitalia has been nicknamed with the backronym (back acronym) “Always Late In Takeoff, Always Late In Arrival” since at least 1974.


Wikipedia: Alitalia
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).

3 February 1974, Post-Herald and Register (Beckley, WV), “Egyptian Pastime” by Bob Warden, pg. 24, col. 4:
Alitalia: “Always Late in Takeoff, Always Late in Arrival.”

15 February 1987, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI), “Walter Scott’s Personality Parade,” Parade magazine, pg. 2, col. 2:
Have you ever heard in airline circles that...ALITALIA (the Italian airline) stands for “Always Late In Takeoffs, Always Late In Arriving”?

Google Groups: rec.humor
Kristian Damm Jensen
5/9/91
(...)
ALITALIA
Always Late In Takeoff, Always Late In Arrival

Google Groups: rec.travel
LIST: Fly-if you dare !!!
B|rge Haga
5/11/91
(...)
ALITALIA - Always Late In Takeoff Always Late In Arrival

Google Groups: rec.travel.air
Funny airline acronyms
nalipson
2/8/94
ALITALIA (Italy) always late in take-off, always late in arrival.

The Age (Melbourrne, Australia)
Smoking? Good as money in the bank
Lawrence Money and Suzanne Carbone
March 16, 2007
(...)
Friday feedback
Jenny Chatfield, of Kew, re airline names: “Qantas now flies into Rome via Alitalia. We’ve found through experience that the name stands for ‘Always Late In Takeoff, Always Late In Arrival’.”

Reuters
Work is hell at airline Italians love to hate
By Irene Chiappisi
MILAN | Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:58pm BST
(...)
Poor staff morale and the derision of some Italians—who joke Alitalia is an acronym for “Always Late In Takeoff Always Late In Arrival”—are a far cry from the glory days.

Google Books
Total Business Communication:
Profiles and Problems for the New Century

By Edoardo Teodoro Brioschi
Milano: Vita e Pensiero
2007
Pg. 44:
In America Fiat is popularly supposed to stand for “fix it again Tony” and Alitalia “Always late in takeoff always late in arrival”!

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Monday, February 18, 2013 • Permalink