New routes, new product and a raised standard in service are the key ingredients pegged to save Italy’s national carrier, Alitalia.

 

The airline and its investors, including Etihad Airways have unveiled a new strategy for the airline designed to rebuild the airline’s business and deliver profitability by 2017.

Having commenced at the start of the year, the strategy includes introducing new routes, products and service standards plus working on new cost management strategy and new branding.

Etihad's part ownership of Alitalia will see the Italian carrier adopt a number of changes.

Etihad’s part ownership of Alitalia will see the Italian carrier adopt a number of changes.

The airline’s chairman, Luca di Montezemolo said customers and building a premium Italian airline are the centre of everything moving forward.

“The 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.”

Luca di Montezemolo, Alitalia chairman

 

What’s new with the network?

The airline has a new three-hub strategy in Italy – Milan Malpensa for long-haul services; Milan Linate to be used for connectivity with partner airline hubs; and Rome Fiumicino where the airline will grow long-haul flying and continue to expand short and medium haul flights to maintain relevance in the Italian market.

New to the airline will be new routes from Rome to Berlin, Dusseldorf, San Francisco, Mexico City, Santiago (Chile), Beijing and Seoul. There’ll also be increased flights to New York, Chicago, Rio de Janeiro and Abu Dhabi.

Reinventing Alitalia

James Hogan (PCEO #Etihad Airways and V. President Alitalia), Luca Montezemolo (Chairman Alitalia), Silvano Cassano (CEO Alitalia).

Thirteen additional flights will be added from Milan Malpens, with daily services to Abu Dhabi, four flights per week to Shanghai and extra 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.

 

How will branding change?

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 Italy.

 

How will guest services improve?

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.

 

Will new aircraft join the fleet?

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.

What do you think of the new Alitalia?