Alitalia pulls out of Poland – LOT will return to Rome
It looks like the Italian carrier on the eve of transforming into its next form i.e. ITA will definitely leave Central Europe and Poland. Rumors are coming from the market pointing to the termination of office leases or even a complete withdrawal from BSP. Which results in the inability of Polish agents to issue the carrier’s tickets.
(ITA accidentally revealed mesh plans for new Alitalia
Interestingly, back in 2020, during the discussion of the new Alitalia, interesting materials saw the light of day. This was a presentation of the network of routes of the new carrier, as you can see, in principle, Central Europe is missing on it.
This means one thing, the desire to focus largely on the DAH market, and the service component. Holiday, pilgrimage or transit traffic generated by our part of Europe is of no interest to the new carrier.
Rome has always been an inbound-oriented destination
Rome has always been the epitome of a typical inbound destination, which naturally had its consequences. Connections to Rome lived mainly from markets of countries flying to the eternal city. Barcelona, Lisbon, Nice and to some extent Dubai have similar characteristics. Rome, however, is perhaps the best example of a magnet city, focused largely on itself.
Poland, in addition to tourist traffic, also generated significant pilgrimage traffic and, in recent years, also a lot of transit traffic. This is not without significance in the context of the future post-Covid recovery. Many analyses point to a faster return of tourist traffic than that associated with traditional business.
It seems, however, that Alitalia’s new management does not seem to recognize this.
There won’t even be a GSA? BSP ? What about Berlin? Frontex? Whether BDO service centers
There is an interesting case regarding the complete cut-off of Alitalia’s ticketing in Poland and its commercial representation in our country. It seems that a carrier of this size, even without flying directly to Poland, can count on generating a revenue stream that could provide it with funding for its presence in the BSP and GSA representation.
The decision to cut off from Poland and Central Europe is premature. Indeed, in our case, we have several strong arguments for remaining in the sales structures. These are primarily the headquarters in Poland, the EU agency Frontex. This agency generates a lot of traffic precisely from the Mediterranean to Maghreb countries, but not only. It is ticketed by the Polish agent eTravel.
There remains the question of the possibility of Polish agents selling connections from Berlin/Prague and also the location in Poland of a large CWT service center. Such a trend to move service centers to cheaper locations will continue. Limiting the issuance of tickets in the Polish market seems to make no sense in this context.
The same for GSA , here, too, you can get a low-cost free-lancer to take care of customers at a cost of no more than a thousand euros a month.
Rome territory of Wizz or LOT will return (via Mostar?)
With the news of leaving Poland, you have to get used to the fact that Rome may become Wizz territory. Certainly, the lack of competition will translate into higher prices. Agents who booked group programs with Alitalia may not be satisfied either.
Both Ithaca and Rainbow had been working with an Italian carrier for years, and they valued this cooperation immensely.
The departure of a competitor also creates a great opportunity for LOT. Although flying to Rome is a cost challenge, one can assume that LOT will take it up. It may be prompted by the very assumption of a faster recovery of tourist flights, but not only.
An interesting nuance/opportunity is the option to fly to Rome via Mostar. Combining two tourist/pilgrimage centers could make a lot of sense. Especially since we probably have to get used to flying by frog jumps. LOT for years considered returning to Rome, however, there was not enough space for 2 regular carriers, now this state is changing.
Naturally, in order to successfully fly to Rome, one would have to offer an afternoon schedule that best suits the needs of the Polish customer. And he will be the main user of this connection. The tourist nature of the flights means that it is not necessary to fly to the capital of Italy every day. A combination of 3-4 times a week should be enough.