Alitalia takes-off on unveiling new uniforms

 ROME -- Alitalia unveiled Wednesday its new set of uniforms that form part of major reforms that are putting the national carrier airline back in the game after near collapse in 2014.  Along with their new focus on press, communications and marketing, including a video with the well-known Italian song “Volare” performed by Malika Ayane and the slogan “Vivi, Ama, Vola” [Live, Love, Fly], Alitalia were keen to impress their new customer focus and their desire for close links with Italy itself, promoting the “Made in Italy” label with their own twist to become “Made of Italy.”

   Italian designer Ettore Bilotta conceived the new uniforms, with each component coming from various regions across Italy, such as Italian leather handbags and gloves, as well as the famous Marches shoes.  Female cabin crew staff will be dressed in a 50s style outfit of wine red, whilst the male staff, pilots and ground staff will be decked in olive green and grey to represent two of Italy’s most famous exports.  As Vice-President James Hogan put it, “When you board an Alitalia flight you should feel as though you’ve already entered Italy, wherever you are in the world.”

  According to president Luca di Montezemolo the choice not to team up with a big name Italian fashion brand was because they “wanted to keep the Alitalia brand, and not detract from this.”  Having said this they have already partnered up with some big Italian brands, such as Lavazza, to offer “clearly good Italian food” with “regional cuisine and wine.”  Their new airport lounges will also be equipped with a live kitchen, top class chefs and wood-fired pizza ovens.

  For the female uniforms Bilotta said that he wished to “evoke the elegance of a time, where life is emphasised by transmitting a strongly feminine ideal, which adds elegance to the necessary practicalities and versatility.”  For the male uniform on the other hand he wanted to “add a touch of ‘dandy’: with the double-breasted waistcoat.”

   “I wanted to confer the expression of the purest Italian style to the project, imagining that Italy could be a dream for everyone and that a flight with Alitalia would be like being in an elegant parlour,” he explained.  Throughout the event emphasis was placed on Alitalia’s desire to become a more global airline, as is shown through the €20,000 invested in their global campaign and shown through their links within the Etihad group and their new direct flights from Rome: to Santiago, which opened on May 1, to Mexico City, which will open on June 16, and to Beijing, which is set to open on July 18.

   Their emphasis is on attracting the home market and on the need for Italy to promote tourism throughout the world, and Alitalia’s possibility to promote Italy across the globe.  With this in mind, the biggest news after the unveiling of the new uniforms was their revelation that they were on target to reach their goal of “profitability” by 2017, with 4,400 flights planned per week for this summer and a view to expand further.

   All in all, Alitalia will be an airline to watch over the coming year as they compete with many other European “low-cost” flights to try and break into the global market, and with their elegant new look it is easy to believe that they just might do so.