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.
Charlotte Airport remains key in American's network even as international growth is longer term aim
Charlotte Douglas International Airport seems to be settling into its new role as part of the much broader joint American-US Airways network where the airport is part of a nine-hub operation that includes the much larger markets of Dallas/Fort Worth, New York and Los Angeles.
Charlotte’s stability has remained intact since the two airlines closed on their merger at the end of 2013, and are now in the midst of some of the more difficult aspects of integration. The airport has a keen self awareness that while it is not the most important hub within American’s network for international transit passengers, its geographic position in the US South East offers is key for connecting domestic passengers in the north-south East Coast corridor, and leisure passengers to the Caribbean and Central America.
Obviously Charlotte’s long-term goal, like numerous other airports, is to boost international service. But for the short-term the airline is charting steady passenger growth while maintaining competitive costs.