Struggling Italian flag carrier Alitalia unveiled a business plan Thursday that it expects will return the airline to profitability by 2019.
The plan calls for a 1 billion euro reduction in costs by 2019 through staffing and other operating cuts. The carrier also expects a 30%, or 800 million euro, increase in revenue by 2019.
Cuts will be aimed at Alitalia’s short- and medium-haul network, rather than its long-haul services to the U.S. and elsewhere. Most notably, the carrier plans to recalibrate narrowbody flights to operate on what amounts to a low-cost model. Planes will be outfitted with additional seats. Also, services such as checked luggage, seat selection, priority boarding and food will be sold as ancillary products.
Low-cost carriers, Alitalia noted, make up 47% of the Italian air travel market, the highest proportion in Europe.
Alitalia also said it would cut 20 planes from its 78-plane fleet of narrowbody mainline aircraft.
A greater emphasis will be placed on long-haul routes, which will continue to be operated under a full-service model.
«The airline will re-evaluate its transatlantic options to try and fly more often on existing routes and to add new cities in the Americas,» Alitalia said…