ITA Airways: All in regards to the new Italian airline


(CNN) — They’ve lengthy dominated the meals and style worlds, this yr they’ve dominated sports activities, and now they’re aiming for the skies.

Italy’s new nationwide airline, ITA Airways, launched on Friday with a promise to carry satisfaction again to its nationwide flag service, after Alitalia, Italy’s legacy airline, went bankrupt and ceased operations a day earlier.

Executives unveiled plans for the brand new community, airplanes, staffing and livery at a press convention livestreamed from Rome.

The very first thing to know: all the things might be centopercento italiano.

The brand new ITA Airways planes might be coloured sky-blue, with workers carrying uniforms by prime Italian designers.

Interiors and airport lounges might be dressed by high-class Italian companies, and even the vehicles and minibuses used to maneuver across the grounds might be Italian.

“Now we have been born as a brand new Italian model, and we have now chosen to work solely with Italian firms,” mentioned Alfredo Altavilla, president of ITA Airways.

Driving excessive on sporting triumph

The sky-blue livery, full with inexperienced, pink and white tricolore stripes of the Italian flag on the tail and on the engines, is a homage to the Azzurri, Italy’s nationwide sports activities groups, who put on sky blue (“azzurro”) strips throughout competitions.

The Azzurri have, after all, carried out phenomenally effectively this yr, with the soccer staff profitable the UEFA European championships and 40 medals on the Tokyo Summer time Olympics. Italian Matteo Berrettini was the runner up within the Wimbledon tennis remaining.

That, in line with Altavilla, is the constructive vitality ITA desires to carry to the skies after the failure of Alitalia.

“At this time is the primary day of a historical past that has but to be written,” he mentioned.

“The brand new branding and the brand new livery of our planes are an emblem of that change, of the beginning of a brand new journey.”

In response to CNN’s query about workers uniforms, Chief Advertising Officer Giovanni Perosino mentioned that though nothing has been introduced but, the airline is in talks with “an important Italian model” about the potential of designing them.

“We wish to give our purchasers an Italian expertise, and if you consider modern Italy, it is wealthy and complicated,” he mentioned.

“So our dream is to accomplice with firms from numerous disciplines, from the meals to the styling of the plane, to the uniforms to the furnishings within the lounges. Our imaginative and prescient is to make use of globally essential Italian manufacturers. It is our want, however we’re already speaking with large manufacturers.”

Within the meantime, they are going to preserve utilizing the Alitalia uniforms and livery, though they count on the planes to begin being repainted inside the first few months. The choice is partly to economize, he mentioned.

Alitalia no extra

Alfredo Altavilla, president of ITA Airways, at the airline launch.

Alfredo Altavilla, president of ITA Airways, on the airline launch.

Handout/ITA Airways

The information that the corporate would preserve its authentic title of ITA Airways stunned many who assumed it might wish to preserve the Alitalia model going. In paperwork filed to the US Division of Transport to request permission to fly there, it admitted plans to accumulate the Alitalia model title.

And the night time earlier than the airline launch, it was introduced that it had purchased the Alitalia title for €90 million ($104 million), main many to take a position that the brand new airline would, primarily, be the outdated one.

Nonetheless, Francavilla mentioned there had by no means been any query of branding the airline as Alitalia.

“In my head it is at all times been ITA Airways,” he mentioned.

“However we had been at all times very clear not simply that we wished to purchase the Alitalia model, however that we would have liked to. Not least for advertising causes — the Italian model could not belong to anybody else besides the nationwide flag service.”

A extra environment friendly fleet

Alitalia was drowning in debt for years earlier than the pandemic, however Francavilla mentioned that the long run is brilliant for ITA, calling the airline “right-sized” each when it comes to fleet, staffing and routing.

It is plan is to function a fleet of recent Airbuses, that are each extra environment friendly and fewer damaging to the setting.

The primary new jets will enter the fleet in early 2022, and by late 2025, it says that 70% of the fleet might be new-generation plane.

It plans to begin with 52, and enhance to 105 by 2025.

Incentivizing smiles

However Francavilla mentioned the most important distinction is ready to be the service onboard.

“In your first flight, I hope you will discover a smile,” he mentioned. That wasn’t at all times a given from Alitalia’s beleaguered workers, however ITA has discovered a novel option to invigorate staff: each single worker could have part of their wage linked not solely to the corporate income, but in addition to buyer satisfaction.

“It aligns the pursuits of the workers with the purchasers,” he mentioned.

ITA already has a loyalty program, Volare, and it plans to affix one of many main alliances — although Francavilla wouldn’t be drawn on which one was favored, saying all affords had been being valued.

No extra ‘battery hen farms’

Alitalia folded on October 14 after years of financial woes.

Alitalia folded on October 14 after years of monetary woes.

Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Photographs

Beginning an airline in a pandemic isn’t any imply feat, particularly with the unhappy historical past that has gone earlier than it. ITA has unveiled an advert for the Italian public, telling them that issues ending badly — whether or not in love, sport or aviation — should not cease folks from making an attempt once more.

Francavilla says though the airline might be coming into an airspace already crowded with low-cost carriers, he wasn’t anxious about competitors. “We’re working totally different companies. I fly folks and so they fly battery hen farms,” he mentioned.

He signaled that he can be combating the subsidies paid by regional authorities to tempt lowcost carriers to their airports.

“All I am saying is that I need a degree enjoying subject — I do not wish to run a race beginning three minutes after the others.”

And it is excellent news for Individuals on the lookout for some dolce vita within the skies — ITA is specializing in the north American market, mentioned Emiliana Limosano, answerable for the business facet, having determined it’s taking off quickest post-pandemic. Rome to New York flights begin November 4.

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