Well, I'm Italian but have no feelings or emotions when talking about Alitalia.
The carrier will never become profitable for several years and it's not sufficient to design a new master plan for pretending to believe it's the right one for driving the airline into profitability.
There are some aspects that AZ
shoud consider if it wants to play in the international community of airlines.
- Service today is very poor: F/A can barely speak a decent English and are not as friendly as they should be, food is mediocre,
- Products: the Magnifica class is not up the the international standard of intercontinental business class and the European business class seat is the same as in economy but the fares are the highest: probably they should introduce a concept similar to KLM's Select Europe, where the advantages for flying in business class are full service and fares which are 40% cheaper than the full regular IATA c-class fares.
- Fares: domestic fares are the highest in Europe: a full return Rome to Milan is EUR 411 plus EUR 35 for taxes, security: it's only economy class and you're served a hot coffee and water only.
- Network: very weak as European competitors run more frequencies and city-pairs while outside Europe the most important routes are serviced by foreign airlines (ie. Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, South Africa, US West coast).
- Fleet: the new triple 7 will enable AZ
to connect new city pairs and that's the only good news.
Personally, as a regular commuter across the Atlantic between Italy and the USA, I never, say never fly Alitalia, although I use it between Milan-Linate and Rome.
My opinion on AZ
is quite simple: there's no reason to pretend to run dozens of national carriers in Europe: AF
, are more than sufficient for handling the intercontinental networks thru' their respective hubs.
should redesign its business model and become a domestic European airline and improve connections and schedules within Italy and the EU.
I would only keep those intercontinental routes which can produce a profitable return from/to the Italian markets: USA, Japan, China, Argentina, and upgrade the C-class product to a stellar level.
So the model would be: low-cost within Europe, premium service on intercontinental routes.
By the way, Eurofly will be starting business class services from Milan and Rome to New York flying an A319 featuring 48 business class seats only.
And this is where an airline can develop profits.
Italy does not need a flag carrier any longer: on May 1st, the EU will comprise 25 members and we cannot imagine that each country will stick to a kind of parochialism that expect the national grandeur to succeed.
Take the AF
+KL merger: it's a winning strategic achievement, and KLM by itself, very probably, could not remain indipendent and profitable in the long run, without a financially-stable long-term business model that include the new modified Europe, the new modified EU domestic market, and the new modified long-range markets.
And I'm a keen KLM fan.