20 Jan 2015 11:30
Rome, 20th January 2015 – The strategy for the new Alitalia was unveiled today, with an unequivocal commitment by the new executive team and strategic investors to reinvent the airline.
Alitalia will introduce new routes, new product and service standards, a
new cost management strategy and new branding, as the foundations to build a
premium global airline representing the best of Italy.
The new Alitalia commenced operations on 1 January 2015, following the
completion of equity investments by Etihad Airways and Alitalia’s existing
shareholders. The new company’s Board meeting yesterday ratified the business
strategy, which was outlined today by Luca di Montezemolo, Chairman of
Alitalia, Silvano Cassano, Chief Executive Officer of Alitalia, and James
Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group and Vice
Chairman of Alitalia.
Luca di Montezemolo said: “The energies, passion and expertise I have
experienced at Alitalia in recent weeks do not leave any doubt that the airline
we’re unveiling today will become once again a premium Italian airline
recognised worldwide. This is why I believe the people in Alitalia are a pillar
of the history we’re about to write.
priority is to put the customer at the centre of everything we do. And to do
that, we will change many things, starting with the way we work. We need to
work as one united team to achieve this great common goal.
revitalised Alitalia we envision and have started building, will be an asset to
this country, and a driver to support the growth of our tourism and our business.”
James Hogan said Alitalia’s future will rely on major change throughout the
“In a market still beset by the continuing Eurozone crisis, anything other
than rapid, decisive change is simply not an option.
“This is the right strategy, with the right management team to lead it.
“But there should be no doubts at all: we have made a commercial investment
that must deliver a commercial return.
“We’ve invested in the new Alitalia because we believe it can flourish
again. It will only succeed if there is 100 per cent support from
everyone. The coming months and next few
years will not be easy, but if everyone pulls together as one team, Alitalia
can grow again.”
Mr Hogan said that Alitalia’s major investors had set a clear deadline for
the airline to deliver profitability by 2017.
Outlining the airline’s new strategy, Mr Cassano said: “The new Alitalia
strategy is serious, it is exciting and it is commercial. It is a strategy for success – if everybody
“It is serious because it has been developed over months by an executive
team and a set of partners that share extensive and in-depth industry
“It is exciting because of the vision and ambition that we have for the
brand and for the business. This is the chance to create a new Alitalia, one
which Italy can truly feel proud of.
“And it is commercial because that is the only way this can work. Every single employee at Alitalia has to get
into a commercial mindset, one in which the basis of every decision is: Does
this add value to our customer? Does it add value to our company? And does it
help us to deliver a financial return?
“We need to create a performance-based, customer-focused culture which
results in a sustainably profitable airline, one which can grow over the long
“The investment we have received from our shareholders gives us the
opportunity to do that.”
Mr Cassano added: “A successful Alitalia means jobs, it means trade and it
means tourism. It means a major impact
on the Italian economy.”
The key elements of the new business strategy include:
- A new three-hub strategy
in Italy. Milan Malpensa will increase
long-haul services, while Milan Linate will increase connectivity with partner
airline hubs. Rome Fiumicino will grow
long-haul flying and continue to expand short and medium haul flying to
maintain relevance to the Italian market.
- Schedules across the
network will be optimised to allow better connectivity, as well as increased
codesharing with existing and new partners.
- New routes from Rome
include Berlin, Dusseldorf, San Francisco, Mexico City, Santiago (Chile),
Beijing and Seoul, with increased flights to New York, Chicago, Rio de Janeiro
and Abu Dhabi.
- Alitalia will also add
13 weekly flights from Milan Malpensa, with daily services to Abu Dhabi, four
flights a week to Shanghai, and additional flights to Tokyo.
- There will also be
increased connectivity with Etihad Airways’ hub in Abu Dhabi, with daily
services from Venice, Milan, Bologna and Catania, as well as additional flights
from Rome, all allowing onward connections to the Middle East, Africa, the
Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, China and Australia.
- Venice will be the only
Italian airport, in addition to Rome Fiumicino and Milan Malpensa, from which
Alitalia will operate services to Abu Dhabi with long-haul aircraft.
While exploring further opportunities to deepen the relationships with Skyteam
members and in particular Air France/KLM and Delta, there will be a major new
partnership with airberlin & NIKI, as well as increased connectivity with
Etihad Airways. There are also plans to
work more deeply with Air Serbia and Etihad Regional. These partnerships will
increase customer choice across many markets.
Alitalia and Etihad Airways and its partners are exploring opportunities to
improve jointly fleet efficiency. For
example, Alitalia is in the process of relocating 14 Airbus A320s to airberlin,
and looking into options with Etihad Airways to acquire additional wide-body
aircraft for Alitalia. Alitalia will also have opportunities to receive
aircraft from Etihad Airways’ existing fleet orderbook.
A new customer-first culture, with new product and service standards across
the airline. A new Customer Excellence
Training Academy will deliver skills to all customer-facing staff, while
customers will experience traditional Italian hospitality, new food service
options, new-look lounges in Rome, Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate.
Alitalia will launch a new brand and visual identity, covering aircraft,
uniforms and all other customer touch-points. While the name will remain
unchanged, the new branding will seek to capture and embody the essence of