It was my understanding of late that AZ
was attempting to lease more 777s and 763s. The MD11 (M1M) combi has awful economics in a combi configuration unless you are hauling a lot of cargo. My sense is that the markets they are flying with the M1M are not profitable because they don't generate that much cargo. The 763 has roughly the same number of seats and is more efficient than the M1M, so it would make sense to pull it from the winter schedule and put it in the hanger.
If they do acquire another four to five aircraft, any combination of 777s or 763s (probably more 763s, since it is a low density aircraft with long legs (up to 5800 miles..west coast USA to Milan for example), then they can dump the MD11s and convert them to cargo as they had originally planned. The advantage is that the combis converted to cargo would only have to have one cargo door installed instead of the normal two, since one is already there. I believe all the M11 (all pax) have already been converted to freighters. If any of my friends in Italy can confirm that, I'd appreciate that.
On a personal note, the AZ
763 is a fabulous airplane. Config: 30/175. The contoured seats in Economy are slimlined and a little firm, but what recline and leg space! Magnifica on the 763 is not Magnifica on the 777 for sure, but it is more intimate and on the really long flights, the crew does little extra stuff that makes each flight unique and special. I would fly them again anytime to Italy, no matter what class I fly.
A mio amici en Alitalia, buona fortuna!
Ciao a presto
ex capo commerciale (Area Manager)
Alitalia Northern California
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998