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New aircraft, routes and a fresh livery designed to “capture and embody the essence of Italy” have been unveiled in an Etihad Airways-led turnaround plan for Alitalia.

The ‘new’ Alitalia has emerged following the completion of equity investments by the UAE carrier and existing shareholders.

Etihad Airways president and chief executive, James Hogan, said Alitalia’s major investors had set a clear deadline for the airline to deliver profitability by 2017 and stressed that the airline’s future will rely on major change throughout the organisation.

“In a market still beset by the continuing eurozone crisis, anything other than rapid, decisive change is simply not an option,” he said.

“This is the right strategy, with the right management team to lead it. But there should be no doubts at all: we have made a commercial investment that must deliver a commercial return.

“We’ve invested in the new Alitalia because we believe it can flourish again. It will only succeed if there is 100% support from everyone.?

"The coming months and next few years will not be easy, but if everyone pulls together as one team, Alitalia can grow again.”

Plans to reinvent loss-making Alitalia include a new three-hub strategy in Italy.

Increased long-haul services will run from Milan Malpensa airport, while Milan Linate will increase connectivity with partner airline hubs. Rome Fiumicino will grow long-haul flying and continue to expand short and medium haul services.

New routes from Rome include Berlin, Dusseldorf, San Francisco, Mexico City, Santiago, Beijing and Seoul, with increased flights to New York, Chicago, Rio de Janeiro and Abu Dhabi.

Alitalia will also add 13 weekly flights from Milan Malpensa, with daily services to Abu Dhabi, four flights a week to Shanghai, and additional flights to Tokyo.

Schedules across the network will be optimised to allow better connectivity, as well as increased codesharing with existing and new partners.

Increased connectivity with Etihad's hub in Abu Dhabi is planned with daily services from Venice, Milan, Bologna and Catania, as well as additional flights from Rome. These will all allowing onward connections to the Middle East, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, China and Australia.

While exploring further opportunities to deepen links with SkyTeam alliance members and in particular Air France/KLM and Delta, there will be a major new partnership with Etihad equity partner Air Berlin, as well as increased connectivity with the Gulf carrier.

There are also plans to work more closely with Air Serbia and Etihad Regional to increase customer choice across many markets.

Alitalia, Etihad and its partners are exploring opportunities to jointly improve fleet efficiency.? Alitalia will redeploy 14 Airbus A320s to Air Berlin and is looking at options to acquire additional wide-body aircraft, including opportunities to receive aircraft from Etihad’s existing fleet order book.

A new customer excellence training academy will deliver skills to all customer-facing staff, while passengers will experience “traditional Italian hospitality”, new food service options and new-look lounges in Rome, Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate.

Alitalia will launch a new brand and visual identity, covering aircraft, uniforms and all other customer touch-points.

CEO Silvano Cassano said: “The new Alitalia strategy is serious, it is exciting and it is commercial.? It is a strategy for success – if everybody delivers.

“It is serious because it has been developed over months by an executive team and a set of partners that share extensive and in-depth industry expertise.

“It is exciting because of the vision and ambition that we have for the brand and for the business. This is the chance to create a new Alitalia, one which Italy can truly feel proud of.

“And it is commercial because that is the only way this can work. Every single employee at Alitalia has to get into a commercial mindset, one in which the basis of every decision is: Does this add value to our customer? Does it add value to our company? And does it help us to deliver a financial return?

“We need to create a performance-based, customer-focused culture which results in a sustainably profitable airline, one which can grow over the long term.

“The investment we have received from our shareholders gives us the opportunity to do that.”

Cassano added: “A successful Alitalia means jobs, it means trade and it means tourism.? It means a major impact on the Italian economy.”

New chairman Luca di Montezemolo added: "Our priority is to put the customer at the centre of everything we do. And to do that, we will change many things, starting with the way we work. We need to work as one united team to achieve this great c