Alitalia has flagged a possible exit from the SkyTeam alliance as the Italian flag-carrier moves to broaden its network, particularly with flights to North America
Speaking during an Italian Government hearing into the airline, newly-minted CEO Cramer Ball said that "SkyTeam (is a) long and good partnership, (it) has had significant benefits."
But "Alitalia is changing and wants to be master of its own destiny... we have to grow in the markets that interest us," Ball said, stressing that "the North Atlantic is a very important sector for us."
Alitalia chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo emphasised that "we can not increase our flights to North America, which is the richest market. We are not free to do this if you do not have the authorisation from our partners."
Di Montezemolo revealed that the airline was currently losing "€500,000 Euros per day" but hoped to balance the books by 2017.
Ball maintains that the embattled Italian national carrier can become "the best airline in Europe” if it follows the 12-month turnaround plan set out by Etihad Airways, which holds a 49% stake in Alitalia as part of a €1.76 billion rescue deal.
"Our goal is not just to be good" Ball has said. "Our goal is to be the best at what we do, the best airline in Europe."
SkyTeam has been approached for comment.
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