Is Alitalia preparing to leave the SkyTeam alliance..?

By David Flynn, July 7 2016

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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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

01 Feb 2015

Total posts 113


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

Or... Al-exit

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Aug 2015

Total posts 126


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513



"Alitalia is changing and Etihad wants to be master of its own destiny..."


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Jun 2016

Total posts 5

As they should . They didn't sink €560 million into a loss making airline not to have control over it!

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

"They didn't sink E560 million into a loss making airline not to have control over it!"

Full agree.  Of course, whether the previous master or the current master is better for AZ is open for debate:

Previous master=AFKLM & SkyTeam gang

Essentially want AZ to be not much more than a feeder specializing within Europe for the longhaul network of AF, KL, DL and other SkyTeamates.  They were so committed to that game plan to the extent that AZ's total widebody fleet capacity has actually shrunk over a decade with no renewal plan ever put in place(e.g. Every widebody in AZ was leased right before EY got involved).

Current master=EY & Etihad Airways Partners gang

Want AZ to do much more medium-haul and intercon work to/fm Europe.  AZ starting to own more of its widebodies again and Hogan(EY CEO) even commented that AZ has potential to nearly double its widedody fleet size.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

Further correction:

"Alitalia is changing and instead of the AFKLM & SkyTeam gang, Etihad wants to be master of its destiny..."

30 Jul 2015

Total posts 113

qantas would like it if alitalia joined oneworld 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

This would eat into QF-EK's European business instead. QF wouldn't tolerate a major competitor of their partner EK (Alitalia is basically EY now).

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

QF likes it or not, after exit fm ST, Alitalia won't join OW nor *A either because it is already in another global alliance(8 member carriers  fm 8 nations so far):  Eithad Airways Partners

08 Jul 2016

Total posts 1

Easy, retrain the staff to provide basic customer service and Alitalia won't be losing 1/2 mil Euros per day!!

07 Feb 2016

Total posts 23

This clearly has undertones of an Etihad Ainrways influence but perhaps it is necessary with the rescure place they are putting into action. And Alitalia hasn't yet confirmed anything so we'll have to wait and see what they'll do.

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