I agree with a post that Mashmallow posted earlier, there is no guarantee that you are going to get that NO for a clear med, you should not even rely on that one. The Italians have so many uses, on the ground, with actual IPC earning territory’s that those planes can be used for, you need to weigh out their impact in the med versus potentially taking Egypt, steam rolling Greece, building an actually strong can-opener force in Russia, and even Protecting Rome.
The last few games that I have played, when I am the Axis, I get my Italian partner to seriously evaluate the Taranto raid force. If it is the max force possible, and the UK is totally on point, I say scrap the scramble, focus on more attainable objectives. As a German player, I sure as hell don’t want to burn the Luftwaffe on an air vs naval clean up battle G2, where I can lose guaranteed safe hits against Russian ground troops once Barbarossa commences. On the other hand, If the UK doesn’t bring the max force down, or they don’t make a move to middle east with SA and India navies / units, and Italy looks like they might have some time to maneuver for a few rounds, then scramble all the way. I have seen games were Italy won the Taranto raid, and from then on became unstoppable in the Med, which in turn leads to Germany being able to achieve their full potential, and results in an Axis victory.
Italy unfortunately has to play the game, or at least start the game, being completely on board to support the Germans in whichever direction they plan to strike. A strong Afrika campaign with Italian air power can lead to Italy generating sufficient IPCs to gain a bit more control over their destiny. A successful Italian campaign in the middle East, or as a can-opener can have the same impact. Italy with zero navy, and zero air force, means they might as well stockpile Rome and prepare to defend Europe, there will be no expeditionary force.