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Alitalia Flies to New Heights This Winter

Sara Krevoy (November 10, 2017)
At the start of its winter season, Alitalia gives a presentation at ENIT’s New York headquarters, highlighting new developments and enhancements. New Alitalia's Chief Commercial Officer, Fabio Maria Lazzerini, spoke about them focusing on the American market and luxury accommodations.

On Thursday, November 190, ENIT (Ente Nazionale Italiano per il turismo), the Italian National Agency for Tourism, organized a presentation regarding Alitalia, Italy’s flag aircraft carrier. The event, which offered breakfast catered by Piccolo Cafe, was held at ENIT’s New York headquarters inside the Italian Cultural Institute building.

During the morning’s reception, recently instated Alitalia’s Chief Commercial Officer Fabio Maria Lazzerini, addressed the crowd, updating them on some of the airline’s latest statistics and improvements. 

“[Alitalia] is a company which went through–it is useless to neglect or to hide–some troubled times. But the company is now operating business as usual, actually I would say better than the usual,” Lazzerini started.

And the numbers don’t lie. The presentation revealed that Alitalia’s punctuality index was reported at more than 80 percent for this year, ranking the airline as third in Europe and 10th worldwide in this category. Additionally, the customer service index was recorded at close to 90 percent, and indication that the company’s investments in this sector are paying off. Part of this initiative, as Lazzerini explained, is a phone application that allows administrators to view data from customer satisfaction surveys filled out by flyers.    

Alitalia is Italy’s largest airline, transporting about 20-22 million passengers yearly to 26 domestic and 68 international destinations as of August 2017. The airline is a member of the SkyTeam alliance, as well as the Transatlantic Joint Venture (which includes Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines). Alitalia also collaborates with Etihad Airways Partners, such as Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Etihad Airways and Jet Airways, to offer customers additional choices and benefits.

Alitalia’s New Developments:

As part of the 2017-2018 winter schedule, which began a few weeks ago, Alitalia will service 74 destinations–20 Italian and 54 worldwide. These include the recently inaugurated Rome-New Delhi and Rome Malé (in the Maldives) connections. Alitalia also provides service to Seoul, Santiago (Chile), Beijing and Havana, all of which have been added over the last two years.                          

Since May 2017, Alitalia has been operating under extraordinary administration, which is the equivalent of US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This action is motivated by two principal goals: “to ensure that Alitalia continues to operate at full capacity” and “to find new investors,” the company stated.                

As part of developments, Alitalia is putting a focus on the American market. The airline has decided to extend the direct connection from Los Angeles to Rome into the winter season, the only nonstop flight between the West Coast and Italy. This route will join the other US connections in New York (to Rome Fiumicino and Milan Malpensa), Boston (to Rome) and Miami (to Rome). In the summer, Alitalia offers daily service from Chicago O’Hare to Rome Fiumicino. As for the rest of North America, the airline provides destinations in Toronto and Mexico City.            

Also designed particularly for the US market is a stopover product in development, which will allow passengers arriving at Rome Fiumicino to spend a couple of days in the city before departing to their destinations, Lazzerini announced. Upon arriving at the Rome hub, visitors arriving from the US will have access to easy connections to 40 cities in Italy, Europe, North Africa and Asia, with the assistance of Transit Team members.

Traveling “Italian-Style:”

As the event continued, Lazzerini spoke on innovations the airline is implementing to benefit all of its customers. Alitalia is associating with some of the top Italian brands in order to create a consumer experience that is more and more Italian. The experience begins upon entering the aircraft, on which the cabin has been entirely stylized “to reflect Italian elegance.” Guests seated in ‘Magnifica’ business class enjoy reclining leather seats by luxury Italian interior design brand Poltrona Frau.  

Other ‘Made in Italy’ amenities include an award-winning onboard dining menu featuring some of the country’s best regional quality dining, alongside fine Italian wines such as Ferrari Trento DOC Prosecco. This season, the CCO revealed, the cuisine highlights specialties from the island of Sardinia. Passengers can eat at their leisure with Alitalia’s new ‘dine anytime’ service, and follow up their meals with espresso from the famous Lavazza brand.                   

Alitalia will also provide Wi-Fi connectivity on the aircraft so that customers can make phone calls, surf the Internet and send e-mails.              

Part of this initiative is a new advertisement campaign featuring airport gates that open up to Italian landscapes, providing a open window to natural beauties and towns throughout the country. The images are arranged to promote the idea of Alitalia as “the gate to Italy.”

“Our main message is to tell people: as soon as you board on our flights, you are already in Italy. You don’t need to wait six, eight, nine hours to feel in Italy. You feel in Italy when you board, and then when you land of course even more,” said Lazzerini.

For more info visit the Alitalia website here >>

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