LONDON – Alitalia (AZ), the largest Italian airline bought by NEWCO, has decided to apply drastic cuts: starting with 5,000 workers, there will also be a review on long-haul routes and on European cities. Five of the many long-haul routes remain active, that is, only the legacy and profitable ones.
The draft of the industrial plan of Italia Trasporti Aereo SPA (ITA), provides for the choice of an international partner, when the market begins to show signs of recovery: one between Lufthansa (LH) and the triad Delta Air Lines (DL), Air France (AF) and KLM (KL).
The new Alitalia, captained by President Francesco Caio and the CEO and General Manager Fabio Maria Lazzerini, plans to start the business next April with 51 aircraft, and about 5000 employees, or half of those on permanent contracts in the current extraordinary administration.
The airline’s re-launch is foreseen having:
- 5 Embraer E190 as regional aircraft
- 40 Airbus A319-A320 as medium to short-range aircraft
- 5 Boeing 777-200ER
- 1 Boeing 777-300ER (the famous EI-WLA, which several times seemed to be returned to the lessor company).
All these aircraft are already supplied to the company under special administration, which NEWCO would rent, pending the renewal of the fleet scheduled for 2022-2023, with the purchase of new Boeing due to the greater cargo loading capacity.
The industrial plan, however, aims at maximum flexibility; the goal is to double the number of aircraft by 2026, bringing them to 104 and therefore also increasing the number of employees. On their part, the Flight Crew would leave in April with a unified employment contract, no longer distinguished being hired by Alitalia or the regional CityLiner division.
The idea by Ita Spa is to cut off international routes and frequencies, not to operate those at a loss and give greater concentration on the great European cities, starting from the capitals and economic centers so as to preside over them at the moment.
On an international level, NEWCO intends to fly from Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) to:
- New York JFK (with dual frequency)
- Los Angeles
- Sao Paulo of Brazil
- Buenos Aires
These are the profitable routes for the carrier even before the pandemic, destinations where the Italian company will not need to be part of any alliances (the choice postponed for a few weeks) because of continuations and sales that are guaranteed by agreements with Delta Air Lines ( in the USA), Gol (in Sao Paulo), Aerolíneas Argentinas (in Buenos Aires), All Nippon Airways (in Tokyo).
furthermore, holiday routes such as Mauritius, Maldives, Cuba, have been put on standby for the moment, but they could be launched quickly when the markets open to welcome foreign tourists. Ita Spa eyes are on Shanghai as well, but at first, it would be connected by a Chinese carrier, not by the new Alitalia; an agreement that should, however, also have the political okay from both countries.
Featured image: Alitalia Boeing 777-3Q8(ER) EI-WLA taken in Rome Fiumicino Intl’ Airport. Photo: Marco Macca @aviator_ita