Struggling Alitalia plans to cut Santiago, Chile and Seoul from its network

The bankrupt carrier’s new commissioner presented plans to unions.

Alitalia’s new commissioner, Giuseppe Leogrande, has told labor unions he plans to cut two unprofitable long-haul routes and remove three aircraft from the fleet as part of attempts to find a way forward for the carrier, almost three years after it filed for bankruptcy. 

The FNTA, an organization bringing together several unions representing Alitalia employees, expressed its ongoing worries about Alitalia’s future after meeting with Leogrande. The unions were told Alitalia would stop flying from Rome to Santiago, Chile and Seoul’s Incheon airport, two unprofitable routes, from the end of March. Two leased Airbus A330s and the airline’s only Boeing 777-300ER would also leave the fleet in the coming months, with more aircraft set to be offloaded later in the year. 

“During the meeting, measures to cut loss-making routes and aircraft were announced, without yet setting out clearly the industrial plan that is to be carried out,” the FNTA said, adding that it remained concerned for the future of Alitalia’s workforce. 

In November, Italy named Leogrande as the new special commissioner charged with overseeing Alitalia. The appointment came after plans for a consortium of investors to put forward a rescue plan for the bankrupt carrier failed to materialize. 

Leogrande took over from the previous three commissioners who had been seeking a rescue plan for the carrier, which has been significantly impacted by competition from LCCs and high-speed trains in the Italian market. 

Alitalia is not the only Italian airline struggling. Air Italy suspended operations from Feb. 11 and announced it was entering liquidation.

Photo credit: Alitalia