Alitalia plans 40-route international expansion from Rome Fiumicino, Milan and Venice
Alitalia, under its newest CEO Gabriele Del Torchio, recently announced a new Industrial Plan 2013-2016, which aims to bring clarity to the airline’s future network development. One of the key points was to clarify the role of Air One in relation to Alitalia. According to the latest plan, Air One (which will be rebranded to have a greater likeness to Alitalia) will be a web-oriented Smart Carrier, dedicated to serving point-to-point short- and medium-haul connections from four bases; Catania, Palermo, Pisa and Venice.
Alitalia will strengthen its operations at its main Rome Fiumicino hub and increase its presence at Milan Linate again (once the Alitalia hub) and Milan Malpensa airports (where it now has competition). Rather than Air One, Alitalia will operate all national and international connections at these three airports, with the aim of increasing international and intercontinental services at all of them. In addition, this winter season will see the start of a major “Re-Hubbing” project at Rome Fiumicino Airport, with the aim of improving timings for business passengers wanting to make day return trips, but also to improve connections for passengers from other Italian airports, who wish to take long-haul flights, for example, to the Americas.
All new routes international
Alitalia has been surprisingly candid in revealing which new routes it envisages launching in the next three years, providing a list of almost 40 potential new services across four airports, all of which are to international destinations.
|Plan||New routes envisaged|
|New flights from Milan Linate||Budapest, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Malta, Prague, Stockholm, Tallinn, Vienna, Warsaw|
|New flights from Milan Malpensa||Cairo, Moscow, Tirana, Tunis|
|Possible new destinations from Rome Fiumicino||Ankara, Basel, Bordeaux, Damascus, Erbil, Lviv, Marrakech, Marseille, Minsk, Misurata, Nuremberg, Pristina, Rostov, Sarajevo, Skopje, Zagreb|
|New inter-continental destinations||Milan Malpensa to Abu Dhabi, Osaka and Shanghai.
Rome to Johannesburg, Nairobi, San Francisco, Santiago de Chile and Seoul.
Venice to Tokyo.
|Source: Alitalia Industrial Plan 2013-2016|
11 new routes in 2013 already
Even before this latest announcement, it had been clear that Alitalia’s network development was focussed on reducing domestic capacity, and adding new international destinations. According to Assaeroporti data for the first five months of 2013, domestic traffic at Italian airports is down 10.3% to 21 million passengers, while international traffic is up 0.2% to 31.1 million. Since the start of the winter season, Alitalia has launched 14 new international routes from Rome Fiumicino, all of which are still operating this summer.
|Launch date||Destination||Country||WF (Aircraft)||Competition (WF)*|
|29 October 2012||Zurich (ZRH)||Switzerland||12 (E175)||SWISS (28)|
|1 December 2012||Abu Dhabi (AUH)||UAE||4 (A330)|
|11 December 2012||Yerevan (EVN)||Armenia||2 (A320)|
|29 January 2013||Prague (PRG)||Czech Republic||2 (A32S)||Czech Airlines (9)
Wizz Air (3)
|25 March 2013||Krakow (KRK)||Poland||3 (A32S)|
|26 March 2013||Ekaterinburg (SVX)||Russia||3 (A32S)||Ural Airlines (1)|
|26 March 2013||Oran (ORN)||Algeria||3 (E175)|
|27 March 2013||Copenhagen (CPH)||Denmark||2 (A32S)||Norwegian (13)
|27 March 2013||Bilbao (BIO)||Spain||2 (A320)|
|28 March 2013||Montpellier (MPL)||France||2 (E175)|
|1 April 2013||London City (LCY)||United Kingdom||6 (E190)|
|1 June 2013||Podgorica (TGD)||Montenegro||3 (E190)||Montenegro Airlines (3)|
|16 June 2013||Antalya (AYT)||Turkey||1 (A319)|
|29 June 2013||Djerba (DJE)||Tunisia||2 (A321)|
|Source: anna.aero New Route Database, *Innovata / Diio Mi for 15 – 21 July|
Of the 14 new routes, only five face direct competition, although Copenhagen and Prague routes have intense competition, and Alitalia only offers a twice-weekly flights on these services.
Domestic routes suffer from frequent changes
Several of the Alitalia Group’s domestic routes appear to suffer from a kind of identity crisis, with the marketing airline and operating airline frequently changing. The following domestic routes which were marketed by Air One last summer, and operated with at least daily flights, are now no longer sold under the Air One brand.
|Operating Airline||Ended||Competition (frequency)|
|Milan Linate – Cagliari||Air One (21)||Alitalia||27 Oct 12||Alitalia (daily)
Meridiana (3-5 per day)
|Milan Linate – Alghero||Air One (21)||Alitalia||12 Dec 12||Meridiana / Air Italy (from Dec12)|
|Milan Malpensa – Naples||Air One (14)||Air One||31 May 13||easyJet (2-5 per day)|
|Milan Malpensa – Palermo||Air One (14)||Air One||30 Sep 12||easyJet (3 per day)|
|Bologna – Alghero||Air One (7)||Alitalia Cityliner||27 Oct 12||Meridiana / Air Italy (from Dec 12)|
|Turin – Alghero||Air One (7)||Alitalia||27 Oct 12||Meridiana / Air Italy (from Dec 12)|
|Milan Malpensa – Brindisi||Air One (7)||Air One||27 Oct 12||easyJet (daily)|
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi|
The following domestic routes which were served at least daily by Alitalia last summer, are no longer served by Alitalia (AZ), though four of them (all involving Venice) have been transferred to Air One (AP) for at least the summer season.
|Operating Airline||Period of operation||Competition|
|Rome FCO – Ancona||Alitalia (21)||Carpatair
|until 27 Jan
from 28 Jan to 31 May
from 18 Feb to 29 Mar
|Venice – Naples||Alitalia (21)||Alitalia Cityliner||until 8 Jan||easyJet
Air One from 24 Mar 13
|Bologna – Palermo||Alitalia (14)||Alitalia
|until 28 Sep 12
until 30 Sep 12
|Venice – Bari||Alitalia (14)||Alitalia
|until 4 Nov 12
until 8 Jan 13
Air One from 24 Mar 13
|Rome FCO – Crotone||Alitalia (14)||Alitalia Cityliner||until 6 Dec 12|
|Venice – Catania||Alitalia (14)||Alitalia
|until 4 Nov 12
until 3 Nov 12
|Air One from 6 Dec 12
Volotea from 19 Dec 12
|Bologna – Naples||Alitalia (10)||Alitalia Cityliner||until 27 Oct 12|
|Bologna – Lamezia Terme||Alitalia (7)||Alitalia
|until 30 Sep 12
from 1 Oct to 27 Oct 12
|Milan Linate – Crotone||Alitalia (7)||Alitalia Cityliner||until 6 Dec 12|
|Venice – Olbia||Alitalia (7)||Alitalia Cityliner||until 30 Sep 12||Air One from 31 May 13
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi|
In four of these markets, there are now no carriers linking the two airports, while Ryanair is now the sole service provider on two of the Bologna routes. There are also other domestic routes which Alitalia is not serving this summer, but which were being operated with less than daily flights last summer.
Average sector length increasing
Analysis of Innovata/Diio Mi data for July suggests that the combined Alitalia and Air One have cut weekly seats by around 11%, but that the number of weekly ASKs offered is down less than 6%, indicating an increase in average sector length, all consistent with the airline’s strategic focus on cutting domestic capacity and increasing international capacity.