Alitalia744
Topic Author
Posts: 3777
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 8:22 am

Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Mon Mar 22, 2004 8:33 am

Can anyone tell me of the latest news in Italy whereby they are saying Alitalia is going to be dissolved after the elections and the EU elections?

I read this on another board in addition to Politica ONline Forum and was wondering if anyone on this board had any insight...

Calling my italian friends DaV, VCE, SteMan, etc...

HeLP!
Some see lines, others see between the lines.
 
VCE
Posts: 575
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2003 8:31 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Wed Mar 24, 2004 12:02 am

Can anyone tell me of the latest news in Italy whereby they are saying Alitalia is going to be dissolved after the elections and the EU elections?

I read this on another board in addition to Politica ONline Forum and was wondering if anyone on this board had any insight...


Don't worry Alitalia744, this is absolutely a message of 'propaganda' from somebody who hates Alitalia and his/her own country.. it's always the same.. Sad

Alitalia will never die. This is absolutely sure. Smile
 
Alitalia744
Topic Author
Posts: 3777
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 8:22 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Wed Mar 24, 2004 12:25 am

VCE - Grazie!

my heart stopped for a moment when I read it. I know there is a lot of hate toward Alitalia, and some of it rightfully so, but I cannot stand to see them go the way of Sabena or Swissair.

I'm still so excited for my upcoming trip to italy!

G
Some see lines, others see between the lines.
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Wed Mar 24, 2004 1:12 am

Like KLM, Alitalia will be taken over by Air France and strangled to death.
I wish I were flying
 
TriStar500
Posts: 4411
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 1999 9:50 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Wed Mar 24, 2004 1:14 am

Wow, now that is what I call a profound commentary (#3).  Insane
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15455
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Wed Mar 24, 2004 1:19 am

"Alitalia will never die. This is absolutely sure"

True. The Italian government and labor unions will find ways to use Italian's taxes to prop up "SWISS South" forever. It will be the United of Italy.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
matt777
Posts: 476
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2001 8:55 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Wed Mar 24, 2004 2:23 am

Alitalia disolved?
That's the best joke I've heard lately.
Our national carrier is owned by the state, and if you all didn't read their new 2004-6 plan they will come into profit next year, recieve it's 10th 772ER and order, via the state-owened leasing company Sviluppo Italia, 10 773ER to increase their intercontinental services. They will restart Los Angeles, Shanghai and many other destinations.
In the last few years Alitalia has increased the quality of its Magnifica and Economy Class (Ptv's), leading to more consumer satisfaction.
Alitalia has been suffering deep competition in their internal italian market, but they still have the lead in the money-making Milano-Roma.

One of the carriers that is in problems is Lufthansa with 1Billion debt.

AZ744, stay calm, Berlusconi will take care of our Cara Alitalia

Forza Italia, Forza Alitalia.
 
yul332LX
Posts: 798
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 5:15 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Wed Mar 24, 2004 2:50 am

The Italian government and labor unions will find ways to use Italian's taxes to prop up "SWISS South" forever. It will be the United of Italy.

Berlusconi will take care of our Cara Alitalia


Glad to hear that! Not sure Italians taxpayers will feel the same way though! Laugh out loud
E volavo, volavo felice più in alto del sole, e ancora più su mentre il mondo pian piano spariva lontano laggiù ...
 
varig md-11
Posts: 1113
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2000 7:17 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Wed Mar 24, 2004 3:06 am

geachte Jwenting
I always love your wise comments and interventions
especially when they are so true  Acting devilish

btw check this out: http://www.yak.ru/ENG/PROD/new_48.php

the new yakovlev can be an option for the new fleet based @ AMS
AF TW AA NW DL UA CO BA U2 TP UX LH SK AZ MP KL SN VY HV LS SS TK SQ PC RG IW SE LI TN
 
su184
Posts: 248
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 9:48 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Wed Mar 24, 2004 4:52 am

What's going on ?? Alitalia, KLM, SAS, Olympic, and before Swissair and Sabena. Does this mean Europe had too many airlines ? Or they were poorly run ? It seems most of the national carriers went that way before some made it, others just went away, Austrian escaped by pulling out of the Qualiflyer group early, Iberia had its share of problems, Air France which taking over KLM and for sure Alitalia later had a dramatic turn around, BA, LH, and the list continues. It is interesting to see how the next round of the survival plans end up. It is always sad to see one of the pioneering airlines disappear.
Missing PAN AM, TWA, Eastern, BCal,....
 
varig md-11
Posts: 1113
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2000 7:17 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Wed Mar 24, 2004 5:03 am

too many airlines in an ultra competitive world....
airlines have to adapt quickly,steal customers to neighbor or...die
add to this bad management or extravagant routes existing for more or less prestige and political reasons, then you have explanations to what is happening.
me too I miss some pioneers, esp TWA ,1st flight to the states for me  Crying
AF TW AA NW DL UA CO BA U2 TP UX LH SK AZ MP KL SN VY HV LS SS TK SQ PC RG IW SE LI TN
 
Sabena 690
Posts: 6065
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2002 12:48 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Wed Mar 24, 2004 5:56 am

Very wise and intelligent comment, Jwenting... like we are used from you  Insane
 
matt777
Posts: 476
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2001 8:55 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Wed Mar 24, 2004 9:16 pm

"Not sure Italians taxpayers will feel the same way though!"

I as an Italian taxpayer, I prefer to see my money invested in the industry I like the most. And by the way, I still want to HAVE THE OPTION between an italian carrier and other carriers when i fly to the US, Japan or Argentina. An I'm on favor of spending some of my taxmoney on keeping that choise, an airline that gives jobs to italians, not only directly but indirectly. Look at it also this way. If i let AZ go... then I have more unemployed, that don't pay taxes to the state. (Are the state accounts in a better off situation?) Not only the state has less income, but they have to pay them the unemployment benefit too!

In the United States, one of the most liberal countries. The airline industry is heavily subsidized by the government. Not only United, but American, Delta, Continental, Northwest have gotten loans from the Bush Administration.
With $38 a barril of Oli... who makes money? No one.
Unfortunately, the airline industry usually is very weak to fight economic crisis (Income Elastic) [not to mention the deep effect of 11S]. This industry has lots of externalities, same as any transportation or communication industry.

Concordingly, airlines have to be helped by the state, because it's like the blood for the body, what would it be without it?

Now I ask you all.
If all the American carriers are helped by the state in their homeland, how can the European carriers compete against them if they are unprotected?
The only way is to do the same as they did. So...
Why are they now all attacking Alitalia and the Berlusconi government when they didn't say nothing to the US transportation measures.

Why can't we copy the actions of the richest country on earth?

Forza Italia, Forza Alitalia

Regards,
Matt Laugh out loud
 
VCE
Posts: 575
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2003 8:31 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 12:35 am

I totally agree with You Matt777. The Italians do now the same many others have already done. But now many people shout.. This is a very 'provincial' way to discuss.
 
yul332LX
Posts: 798
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 5:15 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:19 am

If all the American carriers are helped by the state in their homeland, how can the European carriers compete against them if they are unprotected?

See Matt, the problem is not with airlines that aren’t subsidized but rather with those who are... The incentives create distortions in the industry and that become a conundrum.

The question should not be: How can one survive if he is not helped in any way by the State to compete with someone massively supported by the government? Instead of facing reality, govts often prefer to go the easy way and justify it plainly by erroneously stating that it will help maintain or create jobs while the long term effect will be the exact opposite. Of course, I’m not saying that AZ should go down, gosh, I hope it never happens but if the govt uses direct tax-income to subsidize AZ, all the airlines industry in Italy will pay for it, and even worst, the international competitors might even get more help from their respective countries.

Financial support from the Govt is always a lose-lose at the bottom line…
E volavo, volavo felice più in alto del sole, e ancora più su mentre il mondo pian piano spariva lontano laggiù ...
 
chgoflyer
Posts: 312
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:16 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 8:53 am

Matt777... you need to check your facts. Uniteds loan was declined. Amr/American never made application. I may be mistaken but I dont think Delta got any money either. I am in agreement with you that goverments should protect industrys. Im still asking why there is no longer a Pan Am. But when the taxpayers offer assistance to many times the politicans and union benefit more than the company.
Will someone please wake me up in 4 years
 
gamarocchi
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2003 1:03 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 9:19 am

Matt: from one person who hopes Alitalia becomes a stronger airline, with all due respect, the expansion plan they are thinking to execute (10 773ER + 10 772ER? Are they planning to run Milan - Rome on 777s??) seems like over-expansion to me. The sad reality is, many people especially in Northern Italy are not used to fly with Alitalia anymore, also considering that from many cities it is not more convenient than other foreigner airlines. And when you fly Alitalia, you know you have more to worry about strikes and inefficiencies than with, say, Air France or Lufthansa. So the fact is if you take a Lufthansa flight to New York there are many Italian people on board, while on the other hand from Rome to New York with AZ you don't usually see too many German people. I am beginning to see change, but, I don't know if it will be enough to win back Italian customers and save the company. A BIG expansion without finding a safe niche first does not seem the smartest thing to do now. As for the government subsidizing the airline... I do not think it is a bad thing per se when and if there is the need and if the money is well spent. In this case, I am afraid we are just looking to a lot of promises and a model which is not too wise. Time will tell.
 
BD1959
Posts: 439
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2002 11:43 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 9:24 am

Matt777 asked: With $38 a barril of Oli... who makes money? No one.


Well, QF have done pretty well over the past 12months - and it seems that BA are turning around. The European LCCs seem to be doing OK, too ...though for how long.....?

The European airlines which are struggling are those that have remained very close to their own Governments rather than going down the privatisation path.

While I agree that Governments should do all they can to encourage national industry, I stop short of direct subsidies. That leads to inefficiencies and waste - as the Unions demand more and the Management are politically guided by their masters rather than the Customers.

If an airline was profitable, not only would its (smaller) workforce be paying taxes, so would the airline itself on its profits, there is then no drain on the taxpayers.

Personally, I would hate to see AZ fail - I think homogeny of airlines through acquisition is bad for customer choice, but that should be determined by the market; not by Government handouts. At the end of the day though, if that's what the Italian taxpayers want then that's for them to decide through the ballot box.

BD1959
 
graham697
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 11:59 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 9:43 am

I think before any Major European National Carriers fall, a few EU LCCs will either merge or dissolve. Europe has so many that consolidation is almost a must.

Few US airlines did receive loans from the Governemnt after 9/11 (ATSB), while that period is over, I think only 3 large airlines received actually loans. Frontier, US Airways (Why on earth? I love USAir but they need a much better management), Aloha, and World. All other airlines were turned down. Frontier has completely paid their loan back.

The US industry is still in much peril and will remain for quite some time, barring no attacks will NOT receive government assitance.
Looking forward to the new AA
 
User avatar
Richard28
Posts: 1638
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 5:42 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 9:50 am

The Financial Times quoted today a letter which Rod Eddington (CEO of BA) had writtern to the UK governement asking them to intervine to ensure no subsidies are dished out to Alitalia.

I have to say I agree with him. Form an Italian tax payers point of view, you would be throwing good money after bad, and the eventual cost would aend quite possibly end up more than if you face the financial realities now.

If Alitalia is losing money, then it must downsize or re-consider its business plan.

Aviatrion needs a level playing field to progress.
 
VCE
Posts: 575
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2003 8:31 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 6:07 pm

I think that you didn't understand well what Matt has meant. Nobody in Italy say that public money must be used to save Alitalia. This is not possible for the Italian law, for the European law, and less than less with this Government that doesn't like to finance with public money losing companies. But the Government has to help AZ to prepare a plan to throw the airline before its privatization as they are already doing. Nothing less, nothing more.
 
JGPH1A
Posts: 15080
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 4:36 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 6:14 pm

The best way to save AZ would be for their bone-idle staff to actually do some work for a change, and stop going on strike. Having flown AZ a few times from FCO and MXP, the innefficiency of their staff (even when they aren't on strike, although sometimes its hard to tell) is a joke. Until AZ staff realize that in this day and age they are lucky to have such a cushy job, and should be grateful they still have an airline to work for, and get off their arse and serve the customer, pax will continue to see AZ as unreliable and chaotic, and they will continue to desert AZ in droves.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
VCE
Posts: 575
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2003 8:31 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 6:19 pm

JGPH1A, in this i agree with You.. AZ is completely like AF.. strikes,strikes,strikes. AZ couldn't find a better partner than AF and viceversa.. once i was blocked at CDG for 12 hours thanks to the French Unions!
Regarding the service, on long haul flights i flew several times with AZ and AF. The service in AZ is far better than AF. Especially the equipments on board, the F/A and the planes. AZ planes are clean inside.
 
steman
Posts: 1413
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2000 4:55 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 6:38 pm

I do hope that Alitalia will recover soon from this new crisis.
Did you know that they have posted a profit only once in the past 11 years?
I don't like the idea that my money are burnt by badly managed state owned companies.
I'd rather prefer to see Alitalia privatized and rescued by Italian investors.
But if I have to consider the reality of facts and the stories of other European Flag Carriers, I think that the best that can happen to Alitalia is to be taken over by Air France and become part of the biggest European airline group.

As a passenger I will always prefer to have the choice between different airlines and different fares. Monopoly have never been good for passengers but only for airlines.
So I hope that whichever will be the fate of Alitalia I will always have the chance to fly from FCO to reach my final destinations, without having to go through MXP or CDG.



Ciao

Stefano
 
gamarocchi
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2003 1:03 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 6:45 pm

VCE then explain: where is the money for all those aircraft coming from? If they are leased by another government company and given to Alitalia, isn't that the same as giving money to Alitalia? Or else, who will pay for the aircraft?
I said, I am not against the government paying money to an airline, after all air travel is a useful service and brings money to the economy. On the other hand, if this will as a result damage the country in the long run, I am very against it. I am afraid if they go for an expansion THAT wild, the result will not be good.
 
paxromana
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 8:51 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 6:57 pm

My point of view is that in most case an airline is a flag, an ambassade, a cultural phenomenon, an aethnic resource, in a few words, much more than a simple company.
Ask italians to permit (eventually) a Ferrari fail....ehehehe.
So this job cannot be dealed as a simple business matter just because life or death of a national airline involves other categories which cannot be left in market hands.
I don't hates profits, anyway, i strongly wish AZ becoming private with less corporate unions power.....leaving a reasonable public "golden share"!!!
 
steman
Posts: 1413
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2000 4:55 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 7:11 pm

Why can't they just follow the examples of Air France and Iberia who were on the edge of bankrupt but succeded in recor and become wealthy and profitable?

During the past few weeks, when the Alitalia crisis reached its climax, the govt didn't show very prone to do something. As with many other issues they just watched and didn't act.

True is that they don't have many possibilities considering the European rules on State financing but within the same government coalition there are opposite thoughts: those who wants a privatized Alitalia based in MXP and those who wants AZ to remain State owned and based in FCO.
The mayors of Rome and Milan are on the same opposite positions of course, as well as the Unions and many more other parties who all want to say their word on Alitalia. With this climate I think it's pretty hard that they will find a good solution.

Alitalia new Board of Directors continue to release communicates in which one day they state that the airline has few months of cash before declaring bankrupt, on the other day they declare huge invstment in long haul development arriving to say that Alitalia is a leader in long haul services (yeah, right, with less than 30 long haul planes...)

Expect the unexprected.

Ciao

Stefano
 
gamarocchi
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2003 1:03 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 8:20 pm

True Ste, there is the very important and difficult problem of deciding if they want to use FCO or MXP as a hub. Of course, if they choose to serve businesses, they should use MXP, if they choose to serve politics and foreigner tourists, they will go on and stay in FCO. I think both cities need direct flights to the world anyway, but maybe Alitalia is not enough for this.. I don't know, they face a big choice and the problems of Alitalia in respect to, for example, Air France, are also related to the fact that our country is different (in France, Paris kind of *is* France, in Italy we have many important cities). If you look at a country like Germany instead, which is more similar to Italy, a big city (which is now the capital) like Berlin does not enjoy a lot of service from Lufthansa to abroad, while the main hub is Frankfurt (can I say, the Milan of Germany??) and they now have a secondary hub in Munich.. Another problem with Alitalia is that Italy has slow surface transportation and cities are not well connected to their airports and between themselves. For example, my city, Torino, is about 90 kms from MXP, but if I don't go by car, I can choose a very unconvenient and slow bus (I say unconvenient because the last time I looked, to leave at 14:55 I should take the 8 am bus) or go by train to Milan then take the Malpensa express (for which I need to take the subway in Milan, since the station where the train from Turin will arrive is not the same station from where Malpensa express leaves)... I have family in Mantova, a city about 100 kms from Milan, and I don't tell you how uncomfortable it would be for them to take a flight from MXP. Of course, the result is: having an Alitalia hub relatively close to us does not stop us from finding more convenient Lufthansa from TRN (which by the way often has better fares than AZ and travels to more cities).. I don't know, I want to be optimist but Alitalia's problems, and Italy's problems, are quite complex and I don't know if the right thins are being done to solve them. Of course I wish the country and the airline will come back. I am trying to put trust in Alitalia and I have seen they improved quite a bit from the point of view of service and fares for example, that's why I will fly with them to Japan next month from Milan.
 
hydargos
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 7:24 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 8:59 pm

hi everybody,
l live in padua and my usual hub is vce marco polo.
I'm deeply sorry to say ,as italian ,that i've never used alitalia for my intercontinetal trips and i 'm not going to fly with them in a next future until they will not reach a higher standard.
it's very sad for me to write this

have a good day all of you...
 
klmflyer
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:15 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 9:09 pm

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+KL, BA+IB, LH, are more than sufficient for handling the intercontinental networks thru' their respective hubs.
AZ 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.
 
steman
Posts: 1413
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2000 4:55 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 9:10 pm

Gamarocchi,
you've hit the point.

The real problem in Italy is the System as a whole.
See how the Dutch have been able to create one of the biggest hubs of Europe in a city with less the 800.000 inhabitants.

And what you've said about connections to and from the main airports is true, though FCO enjoys a better situation than MXP.

Alitalia's international network is weak and poor. I am going to Melbourne next month. My options from Rome where EK, SQ and CX. I'll finally go with SQ and I won't even be able to collect miles with Alitalia....

I will be very sad if Alitalia will disappear or will be reduced in size but as a passenger I will always prefer to have more choices from my airport.

Ciao

Stefano
 
klmflyer
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:15 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 9:24 pm

AZ failed to develop a winning "hub" concept.
FCO is the major entry point for leisure travelers while MXP is the major entry point for business travelers.
But Milan has an outstanding city airport, Linate (LIN), which carriers some 8 million pax per year, considering domestic and EU conections.
Anyone planning a day trip to Milan, say from Rome, Naples, Paris or London, finds more convenient to fly into/out of LIN (6 km. from the city center = Duomo Square) rathen then landing in MXP which is only 35 km. away but you need to take 60 to 120 minutes to reach downtown Milan (by car, taxi, train, bus, according to traffic).
MXP and LIN could co-live like JFK and LGA in New York: one airport intercontinental/long range flights, the other running all domestic, short/medium haul flights.
MXP will never, say never, gain the passenger's preference within Europe.
AZ should be smart enough, like KL, to use MXP to fuel transit passengers, say from the Middle East/India to the USA/Canada.
But you need a reliable airline, and if you fly AZ once, you don't give it a second try, due to poor service, unfriendly staff, limited punctuality.
 
Bicoastal
Posts: 2446
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 1999 5:56 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 9:28 pm

My comments apply to both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Alitalia and US Airways should both go out of business. They are union dominated and inefficient. Loan guarantees, government subsidies, whatever the welfare they get, the fact is, they should compete without government money and intervention. This true even for my beloved United Airlines, too. When Alitalia and US Airways fail, other airlines will fill the void. Though when the other airlines move in, they should be careful not to hire the union thugs now working for Alitalia and US Airways.

The best help we can give our Italian friends, is to let Alitalia go under so they can be served by more efficient airlines.

[Edited 2004-03-25 13:35:18]
Airliners.net has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
 
HlywdCatft
Posts: 5232
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2001 6:21 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 9:59 pm

With the way this European Union is going, I wouldn't be surprised if there are 2-4 airlines left and a few LCCs like the USA someday.
 
gamarocchi
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2003 1:03 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:28 pm

While I am convinced Alitalia has hard problems, to say that the country does not need an international airline is a little drastic. If Alitalia can survive, it could grow. After all the country has 57 million people and tourists come here from all over the world, we are not speaking about Belgium or Switzerland (and anyway, I do think Switzerland for example does need an airline travelling not only in Europe). The point is the way to save the airline. I believe the first thing should be to win back Italian customers (by improving service, fare structures, punctuality, etc) and only then they could focus on growth (or merging with another airline like Airfrance - thing which by the way does not exclude direct flights from MXP and FCO to around the world). But it seems they are trying to do it the other way around, which I think is not a good idea.
 
klmflyer
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:15 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:29 am

I'm replying to Gamarocchi's last post.
You are right when saying that Alitalia could grow but not necessarily as a large international airline.
Take the US market for instance.
50 states, 5 large airlines: AA, UA, DL, NW, CO - 6 if we add US.
Pax from California fly AA or UA non stop to LON or connect via a hub to reach other European cities.
There's no "Californian" or "New Yorker" airlines, instead several US airlines cover difference market niches.
The same concept can be applied here in Europe.
Why not thinking at Air France or KLM connecting Rome to New York or Milan to Los Angeles, either non-stop or via CDG or AMS?
If you remember when KLM and Alitalia were in "loving moods", KLM used to operates a B747-300, with KLM crew, 3 times a week on the Milan (MXP) to Sydney, Australia, via Singapore ... and the flight was performing really well in terms of load factor.
Otherwise if we continue with this parochialism that each country has to develop a unique yet great airline, we should face 25 EU countries featuring 25 international airlines: can you imagine 25 different carriers flying daily from their respective hubs to, say, New York JFK or EWR?
How about cost saving? operational cost? marketing & promotion? in addition to costs related to handling and maintaining different fleets/types of aircrafts, different service and whatever can identify a unique airline.
As a manager, I strongly approve the AF/KL merger as it proves to be financially viable and demonstrate a good strategy under the motto "profitable revenue growth".
I'm flying to New York on Sunday, and I'm flying KLM via Amsterdam.
I would welcome a KL or AF-operated non stop flight from MIL or ROM.
Have a great week-end,
Antonio

 
UA744KSFO
Posts: 411
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 5:55 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:34 am

I sure hope that Alitalia NEVER goes out of business! They are a magnificent airline to fly on!
 
klmflyer
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:15 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:54 am

UA744KSFO
Nothing personal with you but ... how can you say that AZ is a magnificent airline to fly on!
I can describe as magnificent an airline like Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Cathay Pacific.
Unless you had a quite non-common experience when flying AZ ...
again, nothing personal ... with you
 
gamarocchi
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2003 1:03 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:56 am

Hi Antonio: I am not sure the same concepts which work in the US can be profitably applied in Europe.

For a thing, Europe will not be "as united" as the United States, but a rather loose confederacy (I do not believe it will be easy for Europe to have "one voice" in foreign policies for example).
We have separate cultures and languages and the economies can intermingle but we won't ever have the *same* economy (at the consumer level at least). We will end up with economies which can better work together by moving back and forward goods and buy services abroad with ease, and also without having to worry about different regulations. For example, you will never find as much pasta and tomato sauce in a French supermarket as you find in Italy, and never as many champagne brands in Italy as you find in France. And I don't need to say in France NOONE will ever buy Italian "Spumante" (but then, who cares if the French winery buys the bottles in Italy and the glass comes from Germany? ). People do have different needs and tastes (speaking of which, people also travel to different places). Finally, in the USA they have 50 states but some of those states don't have a lot of people. In America we are speaking about 280 million people served by 6 major airlines and a lot of LCC and regional airlines. That translates to a major airline every 47 million people, so it looks like we would be entitled to our major airline here in Italy.

In Europe there are close to 450 million people if I remember well, so that would give us 10 major airlines (which is what I think could happen at the end). Yes, you are right that in America airlines do have their niches and you don't have a "California Airlines" vs "New York Air". But, even in America some airlines are stronger (and we could say.. mainly based) in the western part of the country (say.. Northwest) and some other are stronger in the East.. And anyway as I wrote, I think the American market is basically different from Europe and I believe it always will. Europe as a confederation can work even if the member nations don't renounce to their identities and cultures. I believe having an airline in a country such as Italy is one of those things we better don't lose. That said, I think a "marriage" with Air France can be useful anyway, save money by buying the same equipment and using the same maintenance structures, and even so there will be flights operated (can I wish, with the "Alitalia" brand or division??) from Italy to places to where Italians can fill up planes.

[Edited 2004-03-25 18:03:19]

[Edited 2004-03-25 18:08:39]
 
wietse
Posts: 3630
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2001 12:49 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:04 am

At first I thought Jwenting was just joking when he said it every 2 minutes. Now I am not so sure. I mean come on, a joke is only funny for a certain amount of time right?

I CANNOT believe someone can be SO full of misplaced hatred.

/W
Wietse de Graaf
 
klmflyer
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:15 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:19 am

Hi Gamarocchi.
It looks we found a very "hot" subject to talk about: Alitalia.
Well, I like your concept of the Alitalia brand or division.
It could be very easy for Alitalia to diversify and become a profitable "brand" featuring all the typical Italian added-values like fashion, cuisine, wine, culture.
How about transferring all these items into an upscale business class service, in a profitable market niche, say only c-class to JFK/EWR, ORD, DXB.
If Alitalia wants a strategy, the management must not seek at just reducing operational cost but needs to identify those areas where AZ can provide a different service.
At this stage, otherwise, AZ can only compete on the very same grounds of the others, with the difference that costs for AZ are higher in terms of personnel (too many!!!), trade unions, political pressures, lack of real strategy.
 
Sabena 690
Posts: 6065
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2002 12:48 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:27 am

Wietse: nobody with common sense understands his misplaced hatress...

@KLMflyer: In 2002, I also had 4 good flights on AZ... Especially on the BRU-FCO-BRU segments, the service was excellent (the only thing I missed was a cabin crew that looked like they enjoyed their jobs, although not every cabin crew member on my flights looked disinterested).

I'm flying them again this summer, looking forward to it...

Frederic
 
gamarocchi
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2003 1:03 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:35 am

You hit it! The problem is too many employees, and bad employees to say it all. That is why when you travel with Alitalia you have a bad experience often. People are rude and treat you like they couldn't care less. That is the main problem they have to solve! Of course they could then concentrate on expansion, and your strategy does not seem bad (even if I am not sure it would work as a "premium" airline with high prices. Maybe the Italian market is not rich enough for that and I can't dream of Alitalia winning a lot of pax from abroad), but first they must try to remove the problem which makes it impossible for them to win passengers. I have flown Alitalia from MXP to Malta in May (after two years of never thinking to get in any of their planes), for a necessity (no seats available on Air Malta) and I could see some positive signs: the food was not bad, the FAs were kind, the flight was not late. That is why I even considered them for next month's travel which is the first long haul I will make with them... I hope I will see nice and kind FA, have good food, and generally a good experience (or at least, not terrible). I want to see a sign that they are becoming better! Else, I think I will become yet another of those Italians like you who wouldn't touch an Alitalia plane with a three yard stick...
 
klmflyer
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:15 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:46 am

@Sabena690: I want to clarify a point.
I had a great flight on board an Interflug IL18 between East Berlin and Warsaw. it was 20 years back and my only experience with Interflug. but I'm not assuming that Interflug was an excellent airline.
The same applies to here: 4 flights with AZ, and in Europe, where the standard is the same, especially in economy, do not count for giving the title of excellent airline to AZ.
In Europe all the airlines will have to comply with the low-cost model if they want to survive because the only difference in service between a Ryanair flight from Rome-CIA to London-STN and Alitalia between Rome-FCO and London-LHR is the fare and the complimentary snack served on board by AZ.
If an airline wants to compete on service, they have to innovate and diversify, like Virgin Atlantic with their suites, or Singapore airlines with the executive economy or new raffle class on the A340-500.
If a passenger is only looking at cheap fares, the low-cost model is the one to comply with
 
Sabena 690
Posts: 6065
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2002 12:48 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:53 am

@KLMflyer: I know about the AZ problems too, but I still had 4 great flights with them.

the only difference in service between a Ryanair flight from Rome-CIA to London-STN and Alitalia between Rome-FCO and London-LHR is the fare and the complimentary snack served on board by AZ.

Really?
x AZ has much more frequencies than low cost companies have. Missing a flight is not a big problem (you get a confirmed seat on the next flight)
x legspace on AZ is great (I appreciate their 33inch seats with my 1m93)
x in general, customer service on full service airlines is way better than those of LCC's
x AZ offered us 2 fantastic full meals on the BRU-FCO-BRU segments
x flights left within 30 minutes of ETD and arrived on time
x connecting went fast and smooth
x ...

AZ has very attractive fares to multiple destinations from BRU. I would take them over a LCC anyday!

Frederic
 
klmflyer
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:15 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:58 am

ciao Gamarocchi,
I fully agree with you not the personnel issue.
Whether you're a premium pax flying in first or business, or a price-conscious pax flying with the low-cost airlines, the thing that matters most to a pax is the service.
A smiling and motivated F/A can make the whole difference, whether he/she calls you by name in First class, seat 1A, or servces you a coke down in Y in seat 65D.
Recruiting the right persons and training them the right way is one of the most troubling issues for the HR dept. and for the airline.
F/A are like the ambassador of a country, they represent the airline and the country, and the way they move and act is what the passengers perceive about that country and that airline.
Take the Singapore Girls on-board SQ: the are simply superb.
It's probably something genetic in oriental people, as they are always very gentle, friendly, caring.
These are 3 mandatory attitudes for a F/A, don't you agree?
By the way I flew AZ on the way back from Malta to Rome via MXP (A319) and that was a nice flight but, when we landed at MXP, I told the hostess to invest a couple of month in an intensive English course.
ciao
 
Sabena332
Posts: 14938
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 3:57 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:59 am

I agree with Frederic, I flew twice on AZ and I was impressed by their service level, they are one of the best airlines in Europe (unfortunately I never flew long-haul on them).

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
klmflyer
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:15 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Fri Mar 26, 2004 3:03 am

@ Sabena 690
ok, you've been very lucky in your experience and as far as it's fine for you, it is fine for me as well.
very probably the customer service in Belgium for AZ works much better than here in Italy.
Try to call customer service 2 or 3 times for the same issue and you'l get 2 or 3 different replies.
And as far as frequencies are concerned, I invite you to check the AZ schedule and compare it with other European airlines on some key sectors, like Rome to London, Rome to Paris, Rome to Milan.
Anyway have safe flights and, most of all, enjoy them all
ciao
 
varig md-11
Posts: 1113
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2000 7:17 pm

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:16 am

I flew AZ once on FCO-CDG and to be honest I was ready for the worst after all I read here....
in fact apart from the food which was not so good, flight was great and crew polite and profesional

about LCCs I am the 1st to fly them when possible....but the other day EZ had cancelled all the flights from AMS; a colleague of mine wanted to fly home to London on that day: after he waited for hours with no explanation, he was told to go back home and check the internet for more info!!!!!

I was surprised since EZ refused to answer any question about refund/rebook for other flights: hell, THEY cancelled the flights and ruined the week end!!!!
same cancellation trash happened to me many times with AF: I was always rebooked on the spot
AF TW AA NW DL UA CO BA U2 TP UX LH SK AZ MP KL SN VY HV LS SS TK SQ PC RG IW SE LI TN
 
gamarocchi
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2003 1:03 am

RE: Alitalia - The END? Help Italian Friends!

Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:42 am

KLMflyer, yes I agree with you, foreign languages are a weak point of AZ's FA. This is one point where a marriage with a foreign company could work miracles, if a common standard is set for training employees and the training is done by the "unified" company.

Anyway, if they start being gentle, friendly and caring, as you say, it will be a great improvement. I defer my judgement until after that first long haul flight I am having with them (here they can win or lose a customer which will buy many long haul tickets in the future :P). About your flight from Malta, when did you fly? My flight was with one of their MD82 (which is good cause I like that aircraft).

About the issue with 25 countries and 25 "major" airlines, keep in mind that already many of those new countries do not have any airline which could be defined as "major". Think about Malta, Cyprus, but also the baltic nations, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania. And I doubt you could consider LOT and CSA majors, those are focused companies which are running just a few intercontinental flights (and and not doing a bad job at that, it seems).

As for Alitalia being a "superb" airline,Sabena, well, they are far from the likes of Lufthansa or Air France or BA (none of which deserves the title "superb", IMO).

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos