IN BRIEF | Alitalia's new CEO is on a mission to transform the ailing carrier into a 'five star airline' complete with all-new business class seating and inflight Internet in all aircraft by 2017.
Also on the menu will be better food, an overhaul of its fleet – beginning with two Airbus A330s in June, followed by a clutch of Boeing 777-200ER and -300ER jets – and possibly a new-look livery.
"Alitalia can only thrive as a five-star airline," Silvano Cassano tells Bloomberg as he charts the challenges ahead.
"Consumers are saying: give us an excuse to come back to you. They want the love affair to start again."
Much of that love will be fuelled by Etihad Airways, which in January this year handed over €560 million (A$790 million) for a 49% stake in Alitalia.
It's not the first attempted rescue for the airline, which Bloomberg notes "has been unprofitable for almost two decades" – since 2008 a staggering €4.5 billion has been injected into Alitalia without turning back a rising tide of red ink.
Bloomberg reports that Cassano expects to invest some €350 million "toward a complete overhaul of the fleet," beginning with two new Airbus A330s in June.
Also in the works: a codeshare agreement with a Chinese airline and flights from more Italian cities to Abu Dhabi, to tap into Etihad's own international network.
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT