Alitalia Is Pulling Out Of Abu Dhabi

This doesn’t have huge practical implications, though symbolically this is a big move. For years, Etihad was focused on “Etihad Airways Partners,” which was the group of airline partners they invested in, including airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, and Alitalia. How has that worked out for them?

There are many aspects to this strategy, and part of it has been that these airlines fly to Abu Dhabi, allowing them to connect their own networks to Etihad’s global route network. So they’ve flown to Etihad’s hub, and Etihad has flown to their hubs.

But with the Etihad Airways Partners concept falling apart, so has one aspect of the connectivity of these airlines to Etihd. Obviously airberlin no longer flies to Abu Dhabi (or anywhere), Air Serbia no longer flies between Belgrade and Abu Dhabi, and now another airline is following that trend.

Per @airlineroute, as of March 25, 2018, Alitalia will be discontinuing their daily flight between Rome and Abu Dhabi, which presently operates with the following schedule:

AZ852 Rome to Abu Dhabi departing 10:40AM arriving 7:30PM
AZ853 Abu Dhabi to Rome departing 2:25AM arriving 6:15AM

The reason I say that this is more symbolic than anything is because Etihad is taking over the route from Alitalia, and Alitalia will continue to codeshare on the flight. So there’s not really a capacity decrease here, but rather just a shifting of capacity.

On top of the daily flight to Abu Dhabi being discontinued, Alitalia is also discontinuing their once weekly flight between Milan and Abu Dhabi. This complements Etihad’s daily flight in the market, so that’s not a huge deal.

Alitalia still sort of seems to be in a state of limbo, as the airline doesn’t have a new labor contract and is still on its last lifeline (or so it seems)…

Comments

  1. Alitalia will still fly in the next years
    Look of their last revenue and see that Alitalia is not so bad
    AF/KL, Delta and Easyjet will take over AZ

  2. @Aurel: But for how long?

    It seems that Alitalia is only able to function properly when debtors are breathing down its neck. Alitalia has been failing for the past four or five decades. The EY strategy was obviously really bad (though the result was fairly predictable).

    FWIW, EY should’ve cut the major cost factors, negotiate a sustainable deal with the crew, and focus on putting AZ planes on highly profitable routes rather than having it play the role of a glorified regional carrier feeding passenger into AUH. It would’ve been sufficient to feed passengers from non-EY destinations in Europe and fill up EY flights ex Italy (presumably a strategy that AirItaly will implement).

  3. LA lot of the people I know are complaining that “they’ve pulled out too late”.

    Then they get a bad marriage and some big bad loans.

    Similiar to this Etihad venture.

  4. EY should have realised that the ME3 feeder strategy doesn’t work by now. VA wasn’t able to get the numbers on their SYD-AUH flight and QF is about to pull out of DBX

  5. we all knew this ages ago.Australia to Italy which is what Alitalia did for many years in their own rights ex Sydney and Melbourne with a mix of DC8,DC10 AND LATER 747’S for people either flying there and back for holidays or visiting friends and family is nowadays done by the likes of Singapore Airlines,Cathay Pacific or Qatar Airways or Emirates.Etihad never stood a chance against all of that even with the onward connections ex abu dhabi onwards.coupled with god awful schedules meant an asian carrier or the other carriers were by default the better option.

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