A fleet with two models. The European Airbus A320s for short and medium flights, the Americans Boeing 787 Dreamliner for intercontinental connections. Above all: a new fleet, purchased with discounts of at least 50% and capable of bringing operational benefits of 100 million euros a year, in addition to the approximately 200 million savings due to lower fuel consumption. on these aircraft that should be based – once fully operational – the new Alitalia with public traction led by the designated leaders Fabio Maria Lazzerini (CEO) and Francesco Caio (president). what they explain to the Corriere della Sera four different sources who ask for anonymity because they are not authorized to talk about it with the press.
The same sources underline that no agreement has yet been signed and therefore a lot can change, but confirm that there have already been the first contacts between some representatives of the newco (which should see the light in the next few days) and the sales departments of the respective companies. Steps that reveal a first orientation of the new Italian top management on the skin that the airline should have in its next life, also strong of the 3 billion euro financial endowment to start the business. And which also include the gradual change of the machines of the regional flights from the Brazilian Embraer to the Airbus A220, originally from the Canadian Bombardier.
Jets for short and medium flights
The double choice Airbus-Boeing, the sources continue, responds to different logics. By reducing the models to two – the A320 and B787 – operating and maintenance costs are optimized. For short and medium connections, Airbuses are almost obliged because the same type of aircraft in the current fleet and because the costs – and times – of transition to Boeing 737s would be high. According to the experts who follow the sector, for each A320 the new Alitalia could pay 39.3 million euros (against a list price of 91 million), if instead it opted for the neo version of the A320 – more modern and efficient – then the cost it would rise to 44.5 million.
The main game for is played on the double aisle aircraft used for intercontinental routes. They are aircraft that cost more and that for Alitalia also take on a geopolitical connotation in some way. To favor the Boeing 787s – reveal two of the sources – not only the fact that they seem to adapt better to the network needs of the Italian carrier, but also that a part of the aircraft built in Italy, in the Leonardo plants in Puglia. For over ten years the former Finmeccanica between Foggia and Grottaglie has been building the horizontal stabilizer and the central and center-rear sections of the fuselage. Buying Dreamliners would have a positive impact on the national economy. The airline should opt for the double 787-8 and 787-9 models: the first has a list price of 215 million, but would be sold to Alitalia for 108 million – according to sources -, the second costs 253 million, but could be brought to the Fiumicino hub for 134 million.
The other chapter concerns Alitalia’s regional division, CityLiner. To date, the company – which flies with its own Air Operator Certificate – consists of 88 and 100-seat Embraer aircraft only. The newco’s designated leaders – explain the sources – have in mind to gradually renew the fleet with the Airbus A220s, originally known as Bombardier Cs100 e 300, later bought by the European giant. The A220-100 – the smallest in its category – could cost Alitalia’s coffers 31 million euros, experts estimate (against a list price of 73 million), while the A220-300 version should cost 36 million (82 million list price). Small detail: Leonardo also makes the vertical and horizontal stabilizers of the A220.
The giants of aerospace
Alitalia is an esteemed and long-standing customer for Boeing, explains al Courier service a spokesperson for the American aerospace giant. As with all of our customers, we have a constant dialogue on the future needs of their fleet. The details of these discussions, however, are commercially confidential. We do not comment on the deals with our customers because they are confidential, adds another Airbus spokesperson via email. Behind the scenes, however, sources claim that Airbus is committed to snatching the long-haul contract from Boeing by offering the A330neo and A350. But to win on this front too – they admit – the European giant should offer the aircraft with discounts of 65-70%, in short, at bargain prices. Almost.