Less frequencies between Milan Linate and Rome Fiumicino. A clean cut of routes such as Bologna-Catania, Genoa-Olbia or Cagliari-Trieste. The intercontinental ones with Santiago de Chile or Seoul, which combined recorded a loss of 28 million euros, will not be restored. Stop to flights between the capital and Pisa or the Lombard capital and Trapani which already before the coronavirus caused 5.5 and 2.5 million to be lost. To avoid yet another loss-making Alitalia network (a public newco created to relaunch the tricolor carrier) will have to take into account cash needs (by mowing the routes in red), the consequences of the pandemic (which has repercussions on foreign routes ) and a fleet that with 45-47 planes at the beginning will be less than half of that of 2019 and slightly larger than the forty aircraft that move today.
The industrial plan
Making a comparison between the carrier under special administration and the newco implies a double analysis: in the short term (between 2020 and 2021) and in the long term (between 2019 and 2025, the last year of the industrial plan) to neutralize the effects of Covid-19. At the beginning ITA will have just under sixty destinations against the current 50 – according to the analysis of Courier service – to rise to 93 in 2025, 16 less than in 2019. The fleet – which will be renewed – will also drop from 113 aircraft two years ago to 99 in 2025. Future numbers are theoretical. In fact, the leaders of the newco – CEO Fabio Lazzerini and president Francesco Caio – said that the plan is flexible to be able to immediately seize market opportunities. But also that unsustainable routes need to be closed. And this in some cases will force you to stop where previously there was a direct connection.
As more than one analyst explains, an airline network is a system of communicating vessels with a delicate balance. For example: before the coronavirus the Rome-Florence route lost 6 million euros. But mostly American tourists got on board who arriving in Italy with the (more profitable) intercontinental connections brought a so-called feeder value of over 27 million. It is indeed a route that ITA will keep. Others disappear. Those too by-pass which do not pass through Fiumicino and Linate (such as Bologna-Catania) because they are not profitable. Activities on Bergamo-Orio al Serio and Malpensa closed (with the possible exception of the flight to New York).
Abroad and in Milan
Also skip the connections to St. Petersburg and Kiev, Bucharest and Podgorica. The US remains the main intercontinental market, Japan considered promising. Ethnic flows save flights with Brazil and Argentina. Operations in Mexico City, Havana, Seoul will be discontinued. There will also be speeches at Linate, the hub premium: the scheme of the plan speaks of rationalization on internal routes and in the viewfinder there is above all the connection with Rome which, when fully operational, should be reduced by 30%. Before Covid-19, the route had an Ebit of -9 million euros, but a feeder value of 50 million. ITA’s idea of using the free slots to move to European destinations. But Brussels expects, in exchange for the ok to take off of the newco, the sale of a part of 67% of Alitalia’s slots. ITA also counts on the train-air intermodality. High speed must be brought to the main airports – explained CEO Lazzerini -. We speak with the State Railways.
Confrontation with the EU
Tomorrow a delicate week opens on the Alitalia-ITA dossier in Brussels. A cautious optimism filters through the Ministry of Economic Development. The European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager has ensured rapid times and the three commissioners of Alitalia are working on the final proposal to be approved by the EU Antitrust in order to allow the newco to take off in June.