Alitalia took over the passenger transport activity from Wind Jet as per an agreement reached on 13-Apr-2012 following approval from the carrier's board, as reported by local media sources including AGI, World Aeronautical Press Agency, Avionews and Il Messaggero. With the transaction, previously announced in Jan-2012, Alitalia Group "aims at gathering the specific know-how developed by Wind Jet in the low-cost flights sector, thus completing and enriching its range of products and competences. This will allow Alitalia to further diversify its offer, similarly to what has been done with the Air One project, namely to have a wider range of Italian, quality low-cost flights. The operation - which is consistent with the ones recently announced by other European airlines and aims at strengthening our activity in the low cost flight segment - is subject to the success of a series of regulation and market conditions set out in the contract," the carrier said. WindJet reportedly has debts of around EUR100 million. A similar agreement with Blue Panorama has not been approved.
Integration of Wind Jet operations with Alitalia receives board approval
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Alitalia has announced a new strategy to accompany its newest incarnation, following Etihad Airways' acquisition of a 49% stake in the Italian airline from 1-Jan-2015. The strategy includes the aim to return the company to profit in 2017, after a long period of losses. The five main elements of Alitalia's strategy focus on the network, cooperation with partner airlines, the fleet, "guest services" and the brand.
Alitalia's statement does not contain much of consequence that has not previously been flagged. Rather, it reiterates adjustments to its network designed to complement that of Etihad.
There will be less direct flying to Africa, a little more to Asia and a lot more to the Middle East to feed Etihad's hub. Alitalia will also increase its operations in the Americas and in Europe, where Etihad's own presence is smaller.
The crucial question that the statement does not address is how Alitalia will go about changing the mindset, developed over many years, that regards perpetual losses as the norm. Even if the necessary cuts can be achieved, such an entrenched culture is not easily redirected. Yet, for Alitalia, this is surely the last throw of the dice.
Alitalia and Etihad complete deal as Emirates and Qatar add seats. Record growth for Italy-Gulf
The New Year 2015 welcomes in a new Alitalia as Alitalia CAI becomes Alitalia SAI on 01-Jan-2015, having completed an ownership change in which Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways takes a 49% stake, adding to its investments in other European carriers including Aer Lingus, Air Serbia, airberlin and Darwin/Etihad Regional.
But 2015 will also witness a record amount of seats offered between Italy and Gulf hubs as Alitalia and Etihad grow flights to Abu Dhabi under their partnership, while Emirates and Qatar make their own additions. There will be approximately 1,200 more seats a day between Italy and the Gulf in 2015 compared to 2014, for a total of over 5,100 seats a day.
Alitalia and Etihad will add more seats than they have in the past while Emirates and Qatar, so far, will have their highest growth year in Italy since 2012. In the space of four years the Italy-Gulf market will have doubled from 840,000 seats in 2011 to a projected 1.9 million in 2015.