Alitalia CEO Cramer Ball has informed the airline’s trade unions and staff of the details of the 2017-2021 business plan, which was approved by the company's board of directors on Wednesday 15 March.
The plan identifies a series of actions to boost revenues and reduce costs in order to achieve profitability by 2019. The struggling carrier aims to reduce costs by €1bn by 2019. The majority of savings – two-thirds – will come from non-labour related costs while one third will be related to labour and productivity.
Alitalia will than implement positive growth that includes six new long-haul aircraft joining the fleet between 2019 and 2021. This is in addition to two aircraft joining in 2017 and 2018. The airline also plans to launch ten new long-haul routes between 2019 and 2021 and to recruit up to 500 new crew members by 2019.
The business plan contains important measures related to labour costs, including a headcount reduction and a new Collective National Labour agreement to make Alitalia’s cost base more competitive. Headcount will be reduced by up to 2,000 permanent and temporary roles in the business, which is a 50% reduction in office staff and a 20% reduction in non-flying operational roles.
The airline, which is 49% owned by Etihad Airways, currently employs 12,500 people around the world. The previous business plan, following the arrival of Etihad in November 2014, had aimed to achieve profitability by 2017.