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Making It New

Alitalia Reinvents Itself


Alitalia is reinventing itself.

The carrier unveiled its new strategy which it said comes with “an unequivocal commitment by the new executive team and strategic investors to reinvent the airline.”

The carrier 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 began its operations on Jan. 1, 2015, following the completion of equity investments by Etihad Airways and Alitalia’s existing shareholders. The new company’s Board meeting this week ratified the business strategy, which was outlined today by Luca di Montezemolo, chairman of Alitalia, Silvano Cassano, CEO of Alitalia, and James Hogan, president and CEO 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 recognized worldwide. This is why I believe the people in Alitalia are a pillar of the history we’re about to write.”

He continued: “Our 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. The revitalized 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 organization.

Said Hogan: “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.”

And Hogan also made it clear that: “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.”

He noted that Alitalia’s major investors had set a clear deadline for the airline to deliver profitability by 2017.

Silvano Cassano, CEO of Alitalia, said that: “The new Alitalia strategy is serious, it is exciting and it is commercial. It is a strategy for success – if everybody delivers. 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 expertise. 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?”

Cassano added: “We need to create a performance-based, customer-focused culture which results in a sustainably profitable airline, one which can grow over the long term. The investment we have received from our shareholders gives us the opportunity to do that. A successful Alitalia means jobs, it means trade and it means tourism.  It means a major impact on the Italian economy.”

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Posted in Airlines, News