Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
November 2022, Virtual
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
Struggling Italian carrier Alitalia is facing a “critical” two months as it seeks to make “radical changes” to turn around the loss-making business.
Alitalia, which is 49 per cent owned by Etihad Airways, secured short-term funding last week to allow it to start negotiations with unions and key suppliers during the next 60 days in an attempt to achieve “deep cost reduction measures”.
Cramer Ball, Alitalia’s CEO, said: “The next two months are critical for Alitalia.
“It is vitally important that the airline’s workforce and major stakeholders, such as corporate partners, suppliers and unions, embrace and accept the radical changes we need in order to gain the next round of significant funding from our shareholders, which will be crucial for our future.
“Everyone has to pull in the same direction to make Alitalia a viable, sustainable success story and help the airline achieve its ambition of long-term growth and profitability.”
Alitalia’s management intends to present the “second phase” of its new business plan to employees in January.
The first phase of this turnaround plan was implemented two years ago after Etihad took its minority stake in the Italian carrier for €560 million. But Alitalia still made a post-tax loss of €199 million last year.
New proposals will include cutting staff to create a workforce which is the “right size, right shape” for the airline, as well as “reworking” its short-haul network and “developing further” long-haul services.
“We have achieved great progress in the last two years but the commercial aviation market is brutally unforgiving so we need to go further with our programme of change,” added Ball.
“We need a business that is the right size, the right shape and with the right productivity and cost base. If we can deliver those, Alitalia will succeed.”