Italian airline Alitalia plots rebrand in bid to return to profit

Italian airline Alitalia says it will rebrand as part of a strategic overhaul in a bid to return to profitability.

The announcement comes after Emiriti airline Etihad bought a 49 per cent stake in the Italian flag carrier.

Alitalia says a new identity will be introduced as part of a “strategy for a new Alitalia”, which will also see new routes introduced, alongside plans for partnerships with other airlines.

It is also seeking to introduce a “customer-first culture” with new lounges and a new “customer excellence training academy”.

The airline is looking to return to profitability by 2017 following the Etihad investment.

Etihad chief executive and Alitalia vice-chairman James Hogan says: “In a market still beset by the continuing Eurozone crisis, anything other than rapid, decisive change is simply not an option.”

Alitalia says its new identity will cover aircraft livery, uniforms and other customer touchpoints. The airline says: “While the name will remain unchanged, the new branding will seek to capture and embody the essence of Italy.”

Alitalia’s current logo was introduced in 2005 and is an updated of the 1969 identity created by Walter Landor.

New Alitalia investor Etihad also introduced new aircraft livery last year, created by Landor.

Alitalia says the first look at the “new Alitalia” came with the New York-Milan flight that took off at the beginning at the month with livery that carried the branding of Alitalia, Etihad and the Milan 2015 Expo.

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