By JV Mehta 08/18/2020 1944 views


Beleaguered Italian flag-carrier Alitalia, which has consistently run loss-making operations, has long endured an endless cycle of bankruptcy, nationalization, and privatization. Contrary to expectation, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has actually helped the airline stay afloat by giving it an excuse to be nationalized once more. Amidst its 2020 re-nationalization, Alitalia has turned its focus towards the simplification and modernization of its fleet.


Goals For Re-nationalization

According to OneMileAtATime, Alitalia is set to benefit from a shrunken fleet (down to 70-90 aircraft from 110+), a renewed focus on long-haul flights rather than loss-making short-haul ones, a smaller and more efficient workforce, and perhaps even a new alliance.


Same Short-haul A320 Fleet

Per reports from various Italian news outlets and website AeroNewsX, Alitalia is to continue short-haul services with A320/A320neo-family aircraft. These single-aisle jets have long been at the core of the airlines's European operations and will stay in the fleet, unlike its current widebody aircraft.


New 787 Fleet

Alitalia's new wide-body fleet is also rumored to be comprised of a single type: Boeing's versatile 787 dreamliner. This will allow the carrier to streamline long-haul operations and set its focus on long-haul routes. The airline's new fleet of dreamliners will lead to the retirement of the current two-type wide-body fleet comprised of Boeing 777s (777-200ERs and a single -300ER) and Airbus A330s (A330-200s and -300s). At this point, although no announcements have been made, it is safe to say that the new Alitalia will utilize 787s rather than Airbus's competing A350 family, since 14% of the dreamliner's fuselage is built by Leonardo in Italy. Buying 787s will thus increase jobs and support the Italian economy.


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An Alitalia 777-200ER taking off from FCO/Rome-Fiumicino Airport. Credit: Alessandro Ambrosetti via WikiMedia


New Fleet For Alitalia CityLiner

According to all previous sources, Alitalia's wholly-owned regional airline Alitalia CityLiner (owned by Alitalia but NOT the same airline), will also receive an entirely new fleet comprised of Airbus A220s. Renowned for the comfort and efficiency the type brings to thin short to medium-haul routes, the A220s will allow Alitalia CityLiner to efficiently serve its European regional network. They are rumored to replace the current Embraer E170s and E190s that comprise the fleet.


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Credit: Steve Lynes via WikiMedia



The Italian government seeks to give Alitalia all it can to ensure that the airline returns to profitability in the future. This includes replacing the airline's short-haul fleet with more A320-family jets and replacing its long-haul aircraft with Boeing's 787 dreamliners, in order to increase efficiency and streamline the entire fleet. Alitalia CityLiner, an entity wholly owned by Alitalia but run under a different Air Operator Certificate, is also set to be part of this fleet overhaul, where its Embraer E-jet family will be replaced by Airbus's A220 aircraft. Do you think this will enable Alitalia to embark on the long journey towards profitability, or will it continue to make losses as it always has?



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