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Alitalia turns hub focus away from Malpensa.

AIRLINE INDUSTRY INFORMATION-(C)1997-2000 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD

Italian airline Alitalia is apparently intending to stop focussing on utilising the Malpensa airport in Milan as its hub under a new strategy discussed on 7 February.

Alitalia`s board was due to meet on Monday to discuss a new strategy and it was expected that the talks would involve looking into alternatives, such as new routes and cost reductions.

The one-year delay in getting Malpensa fully operational has apparently created problems for Alitalia`s alliance with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, as the two carriers had planned to use Malpensa as their third hub, along with Amsterdam`s Schiphol and Rome`s Fiumicino airports.

KLM`s chairman was reported as saying last week that the future of the alliance looked uncertain given that Malpensa was not ready according to Dow Jones and KLM`s financial advisor is believed to have given the Malpensa situation a resolution time frame of around two or three months, though a spokesperson for Alitalia has said that `the alliance is going forward.`

The issue of Malpensa is also delaying the privatisation of Alitalia, which was expected to occur by the end of June 2000 when the state holding company Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale ceases to exist and must sell its 53% stake.

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Title Annotation:Malpensa Airport
Comment:Alitalia turns hub focus away from Malpensa.(Malpensa Airport)
Publication:Airline Industry Information
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUIT
Date:Feb 8, 2000
Words:228
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