Alitalia has tentatively agreed to merge with Wind Jet and Blue Panorama Airlines. According to AGI reports, Alitalia has signed a MoU with both Italian carriers to this effect. Wind Jet is a LCC operating short haul European services and Blue Panorama operates charter and scheduled services from its Rome and Milan bases. According to Innovata data, Wind Jet and Blue Panorama hold 10.6% and 2.9% of Italy’s domestic capacity, respectively.
Alitalia to merge with Wind Jet and Blue Panorama Airlines
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Rome Fiumicino Airport: Vueling, Ryanair, easyJet and Alitalia are locked in mortal combat
Just as Rome was not built in a day, the battle among the airlines at its main airport will also take its time to play out.
A year ago, CAPA examined the growing levels of competition at Rome Fiumicino. The fight was not only between the disruptive LCCs and the well-established, but struggling, Alitalia. It was also increasingly between the LCCs themselves. At that time, Ryanair had just entered the airport for the first time, Vueling was about to establish a new base and to inject massive capacity growth there and easyJet also planned strong growth. Alitalia faced further erosion of its market share.
A year on and the battleground continues to be fiercely contested. Vueling plans further huge growth this summer, Ryanair is to transfer more routes to Fiumicino from Ciampino and easyJet, while taking a relative pause for breath, is still set to grow capacity at a double digit rate this summer. Alitalia's share continues to fall, but at least it has ensured its survival after receiving an investment by Etihad.
Air France-KLM's Asian partnerships: JAL codeshare ends, China Southern A380 & Xiamen to Amsterdam
Air France-KLM is seeking to have similar tenure in Asia to what it has across the Atlantic. Europe-Asia routes have not developed the same depth in partnerships as Europe-North America, but they growing – and AF-KLM is being left behind. IAG and Finnair are with JAL and IAG is also likely to partner with Qatar Airways in a JV. Lufthansa has a JV with ANA and a proposal with Air China, in addition to using new long-haul LCC unit Eurowings to spur growth. Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines have Europe-focused partnerships with Qatar and Turkish Airlines respectively. ANA may partner with Turkish as well. Korean Air has an evolving partnership with Czech Airlines.
AF-KLM meanwhile has a loose partnership with Etihad Airways for greater Asia (and beyond) access but a JV has yet to emerge despite much talk. A longstanding AF-JAL partnership is declining as key codeshares end. KLM has a new partnership with Xiamen Airlines, which will make Amsterdam one of its inaugural intercontinental routes. The relationship is delicate, and Xiamen is majority-owned by China Southern, which is expected to bring its A380 to Amsterdam, creating further over-capacity. Another opportunity is for cooperation with Malaysia Airlines, which is restructuring and could benefit from greater partnership access.