Alitalia Eyes Profitable Future As Losses Reduce

Despite several challenges and setbacks over the last couple of years, Italian carrier Alitalia has reported that it significantly reduced losses by €381m ($441.1m) in 2015, meaning that it's "on track for profitability by 2017".

There's no doubt that the fire at Rome Fiumicino Airport in May 2015 (estimated to have have cost the airline around €80m), the suspension of its Rome-Caracas route and a decline in passenger figures after the Paris terrorist attacks, had a significant impact on the airline.

However, on Friday (April 29), Alitalia confirmed that 2015 was in fact a strong year for the airline, with total revenues of €3.3bn ($3.8bn) and a net result of €-199.1m ($230m) - a vast improvement on the €580m ($671m) loss recorded in 2014.

The chairman of Alitalia, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said: “Reducing our losses is a first important step, together with the relentless commitment to improve our services, our fleet and our network with the opening of new strategic intercontinental routes".

"Today’s results show that Alitalia has become more efficient in controlling costs and is on track for profitability by 2017. All our efforts are focused on reaching that target. Few airlines have undergone such radical change as the new Alitalia," he added.

Additionally, its relationships with airberlin, SkyTeam and Etihad Airways, have each played a part in helping the airline complete a wide range of tasks and meet key performance indicators over the past year. 

And, according to the statement, the carrier has also started a "major fleet upgrade", with new interiors and inflight WiFi being added to 122 aircraft, proving that it's both committed and confident about the future ahead. 

Thus, so far, the airline's three-year development plan is working out quite well and Alitalia's chief executive officer, Cramer Ball said that the next phase of its investment strategy will see €400m ($463m) being committed to fleet, cabins, technology and infrastructure in 2016, moving it another step closer to profitability by 2017.

“While investment is a key part of our strategy, our management will continue its forensic focus on cost and leverage every opportunity to achieve further efficiencies on our journey to profitability.”

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