ITA Airways paid just under €100 million for the branding of Alitalia last fall as it launched in the wake of the bankrupt Italian flag carrier. It then shelved the brand, launching a new livery and plan to expand with a clean slate. Reports out of Italy this week, however, suggest the plan shall change once again.
The Alitalia brand is ready to return.
Company president Alfredo Altavilla indicated the intention during testimony before the government Transport Commission. But specific details on how the brand shall return remain murky.
“We have always intended to use the brand to integrate it into the commercial offer,” Altavilla explained to officials.
Analogies offered by Altavilla to the EuroWings or Transavia brands might be interpreted to suggest a separate, low cost operation formed to use one of the brands. But that is not the intention, at least not now.
The Board of Directors is expected to finalize the branding plans by the end of the month.
Separately, the company confirmed it’s focus on Rome as the key long-haul hub, with minimal expansion expected near-term at Milan Malpensa. The carrier also reported an average load factor of just 60% for the Rome-JFK route to close out the year, trailing both Delta (90%) and United (83%, to Newark).
More of ITA’s history:
- Alitalia is dead; long live Alitalia*
- Europe clears Alitalia debt from successor ITA
- Alitalia Due (a/k/a Italia Trasporto Aereo) applies for US service
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