Alitalia will become a low-cost airline on flights within Europe but remain a 'full-service carrier' on international routes, under a five -year business plan released by the beleaguered Italian flag-carrier overnight.
Short and medium-range flights in Italy and around Europe will be fitted with more seats, while base airfares will drop and travellers will be encouraged to spend more beyond just the seat and the flight.
"We will simplify air fares and offer customers the opportunity to purchase products such as seat selection, checked-in luggage and priority boarding throughout the booking process, and all the way up to the airport gate," explained Alitalia CEO Cramer Ball.
"On flights that are four hours or less we will introduce the buy-on-board (meal) concept that is not only commonplace with low-cost carriers but is happening more and more at traditional, network airlines."
That cost-extra menu will include ‘made in Italy’ hot and cold food along with snacks and drinks.
Alitalia also pull 20 aircraft out of its domestic and European single-aisle fleet.
Speaking on the ambitious 'turnaround' program, Ball said "we must do this, especially in our short and medium haul business in order to provide a platform to grow our profitable long-haul business further in the future."
On the international side of the ledger, Alitalia says it will retain "a full-service model and maintain an intense focus on costs and efficiency."
The airline's Boeing 777 fleet will be fitted with new inflight entertainment including Internet, with the new flagship Boeing 777-300ER joining the fleet in August 2017.
Alitalia will also "re-evaluate" its transatlantic options with the aim of boosting flights on existing routes as well as adding new cities in the Americas, described as "one of its most underserved markets."
The airline – which is 49% owned by Etihad Airways and a partner of Virgin Australia – is seeking to strip out €1 billion in costs by 2019, the same year it predicts a 30% revenue increase and a return to profitability by 2019.