The vice chairman of the airline and Etihad Airways CEO, James Hogan, has announced Alitalia will add a maiden B777-300ER to its fleet next year.
Because of the progress made in the eighteen months since the Emiratis bought 49% of the Italian carrier, Hogan said they are not focusing on making the airline break even, but to turn an actual profit.
Alitalia has set itself a target of increasing the load factors from the current 76% to more than 80%, which Hogan described as “a fundamental threshold for any pan-European/global airline for its domestic market”.
Because of this, the carrier has been analyzing several potential new routes and, to match its expansion plans, will add a new B777-200ER, airframe msn 28688 arriving from Vietnam Airlines, to its fleet this year followed by a 777-300ER and extra A330-200 next year.
“We have a view that Alitalia can reach forty long-haul aircraft,” he added. “We have access to the aircraft through the partner- whether it is 787s, A350s or recycled A330s. We’ve already placed some aircraft in Alitalia, but we want to ensure we can feed the Italian hubs to improve load factors and quality”.
Alitalia currently operates 14 A330-200s, two dry-leased from Etiha, and 10 B777-200ERs.