MIAMI – The new Italian flag carrier ITA Airways (AZ) is born today in Rome with a “startup DNA” that looks to efficiency and innovation.
The new airline states in today’s press release that it wants to place customers at the center of its strategy, its internal governance plans, and processes, through a strong digitalization of processes and personalization of services and sustainability in the form of technologically advanced aircraft with reduced environmental impact.
The first ITA Airways flight, an Airbus A320 numbered AZ 1637, departed today from Milan Linate at 6:20 am and landed at Bari airport at 7:45 am. At the helm the Commander Fabrizio Campolucci.
The choice of the new brand ‘ITA Airways’ comes from listening to customers and their level of satisfaction, pursuing one of the fundamental pillars of the business plan: “customer focus.”
The brand and the visual identity, designed by Landor&fitch, thus inaugurate a new course for the country’s flag carrier that needs to differentiate itself from its predecessor, Alitalia. The new branding does pay tribute to Walter Landor, who designed the brand of the national airline in the ’60s.
ITA Airways will also fly with a new livery. Light blue is the chosen color that is meant to symbolize unity, cohesion, and pride of the country, also calling into mind Italian sports and its national team. On the rudder, you’ll see the Italian tricolor; on the fuselage’s blue background, the gold white, and red logo of ITA Airways and stylized icons inspired by the country’s artistic heritage.
Via Italy24news.com, ITA Airways CEO explained in a press conference, “We want to convey a feeling of freshness and flexibility. We are one startup. We look back on an important past, but above all, we look to the future.”
The CEO went on to justify the acquisition of the Alitalia brand for €90m, which will be essentially unused. “It was a heritage that had to be preserved anyway. We want to manage the process on its use”.
This means ITA Airways can manage the transition to the new livery and reserve the right to future use of the Alitalia brand.
As of today, ITA Airways will operate a network of 44 destinations and 59 routes, 191 flights in total (24 domestic and 56 international), which will increase to 58 destinations and 74 routes in 2022 and 74 destinations and 89 routes in 2025. The charter activity was also inaugurated today with the first Malpensa – Fiumicino flight with the Italian champion Inter on board.
Like its predecessor, ITA Airways will focus its activity on the Rome Fiumicino hub (FCO) and Milan Linate airport (LIN), where it will position itself as the “reference airline” for business and leisure traffic. Pending the identification of the Strategic Partner, ITA Airways will join Sky Team, progressively guaranteeing its travelers code sharing with all SkyTeam members on connecting flights.
Sustainability and Fleet
ITA Airways starts today with 7 wide-bodies and 45 narrow-bodies, totaling 52 aircraft. The airline says the fleet will grow next year to 78 aircraft (26 new aircraft, +50% on 2021), of which 13 wide-bodies (+6 on 2021) and 65 narrow-bodies (+20 on 2021), with the progressive introduction of new-generation aircraft that by 2025 will reach 75%, with 105 new aircraft (23 wide-bodies and 82 narrow-bodies).
The agreement signed with Air Lease Corporation will provide a further 31 new-generation Airbus aircraft on lease, including long-, medium- and short-haul aircraft.
ITA Airways will thus equip itself with a modern and environmentally-friendly fleet that will include cutting-edge technologies and will reduce CO2 emissions by 750 thousand tons over the ’21-’25 plan period.
For its green fleet, ITA Airways has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus for the purchase of 28 new aircraft: 10 Airbus A330neo for long-haul routes, 7 aircraft from the Airbus A220 family of regional aircraft, and 11 aircraft from the A320neo family.
Thanks to a pilot project with Eni and ADR, the first 10 flights departing today from FCO will be operated using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) produced by Eni, a leading company in the energy transition process. With the project, the carrier assumes the EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ proposal by contributing to the decarbonization of air transport from the get-go.
“Volare” is the new ITA Airways Loyalty program, effective today, October 15. The carrier says the program has been designed to ensure customers maximum simplicity and flexibility in both accumulating and spending points. The new Loyalty program will be divided into four levels: smart, plus, premium and executive.
Additionally, through the commercial partnership program, “Volare” will offer customers a wide range of services and products provided by ITA Airways and its partners. The accumulated points will allow flying every day of the year on any ITA Airways flight, through a flexible modulation linked to the value of each individual flight.
The carrier states that enrolment in the program is now available at ita-airways.com but Airways was not able to access any of the website’s sections. Enrolments can be accessed on the company’s APP. Customers will have the opportunity to accumulate points starting from today. The catalog of services and products will be released in 2022.
ITA Airways, with the new Customer Center, managed by Covisian, will provide a virtual platform that will use new technologies in a cloud environment developed by market leaders, such as the Salesforce platform for customer relationship management and the Amazon Web Services infrastructure for telephone activities, which also allows the use of artificial intelligence to improve response times.
The airline says the service will progressively evolve by integrating new features.
Staff: 70% from Alitalia
Since August 26, ITA Airways has launched a campaign to collect applications for professionals to hire for flight and ground operations, among other staff areas. More than 30 thousand applications were received. Following a careful selection process, the new ITA Airways team was chosen, which meets the criteria of competence and professionalism in line with the strategic business lines of the ITA.
The ITA Airways team is comprised of 2,800 employees, of whom 1,250 are staff and 1,550 flight personnel. As of today, about 30% of recruitment comes from the market and 70% from AZ, the latter mainly flight personnel. In 2022, the staff of the aviation perimeter will grow by 1,000 units to reach 5,750 employees in 2025. All ITA Airways staff will share an individual performance bonus based on the achievement of the company’s profitability and customer satisfaction targets.
Comments from ITA Airways President and CEO
“Today is the first day of a story to be written,” said Alfredo Altavilla, President of ITA Airways. “The new brand and the new livery of our aircraft are the symbol of change, of the beginning of a different adventure. Discontinuity does not mean to deny the past, but to evolve it in order to keep up with the times, with a new competitive scenario, with new customers and needs to be satisfied.
Altavilla added, “The new Compagnia di Bandiera is a piece of the strategy for the overall relaunch of Italy, and is a result to which all the stakeholders, starting with the institutions involved, have actively contributed.”
On his part, Fabio Lazzerini, CEO of ITA Airways, said, “For every end, there is always a new beginning. In the sentence that concludes the ITA Airways ad, there is the emotion of witnessing the birth of something long-awaited and, at the same time, the awareness of the solidity of the Company’s prospects to which we welcome today.
Lazzerini added, “This is only the first step of an ambitious project: the creation of the new national airline that will connect our country to the world and will represent it through the work of the men and women who are and will be part of it. In a difficult period for the airline industry, ITA Airways has been created to intercept the recovery of air traffic in the coming years on the strength of the foundations of its strategy: sustainability, digitalization, customer focus, and innovation.”
Featured image: ITA Airways