With contributions from Gaetano Intrieri – Gaetano Intrieri is an aviation consultant and lecturer in Air Transport Economics at Sapienza University’s Faculty of Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering.
ROME – In the most difficult time for aviation, ITA intends to step out of the shadows, pursuing the principle of discontinuity translated into a strong downsizing of operations.
The feeling is that nothing will be done. Or rather, the result will be a complete mess that will end with the stock phrase we did everything possible.
But what has been done so far?
The sensational announcements are more like suggestions. ITA’s fleet would consist of brand-new 12 Airbus A220-300, 40 A320neo, 5 A321neo, and 23 A330neo or A350 aircraft (Berberi, 2021).
According to an Italian newspaper, the war between Airbus and Boeing sees the European manufacturer ahead.
While in Seattle they would be trying to sell off the aircraft (up to 60-70% discount), in an attempt to get out of a stalemate caused by the grounding of the 737 MAX. In other words, in a confidential negotiation, Boeing would have flipped the cards showing a clear favorable treatment for her friend Alitalia.
Although the shift to an Airbus fleet is likely to happen, the huge discount outlined in the previous paragraph would cause an unavoidable discontent among Boeing’s customers. In recent months, the same newspaper reported that Alitalia was considering the 787 as a replacement for the 777.
However, if the goal is the “fleet homogenization” and the “confluence towards a single strategic partner”, as stated in the business plan, Airbus already holds the largest share (ITA, 2021).
Thus, the process of converting the flight crews would be facilitated both in terms of time and costs, but this does not mean that the European manufacturer is ahead in the negotiation.
Furthermore, it is not known how real and concrete these negotiations are, even considering that ITA takes a new operating license relying only on two planes in the Alitalia fleet and using the little granted by EU regarding Alitalia’s assets which, in any case, will have to be bought at a proper market price and hopefully with the endorsement of Alitalia’s creditors.
The annihilation of the airline also passes through the brand, which suffers from the commissioner management and the never renewed flight experience.
The uniqueness of the trademark is an essential element of branding. Alitalia is a one-of-a-kind composite name, as well as Iberia and Lufthansa, followed by less impressive brands like Air France and British Airways.
None of the above-mentioned names can be imitated, but it seems clear that Air and Airways, like France and British, are recurring words.