Alitalia Staff Get New Designer Uniforms despite Uncertain Future

Alitalia Staff Get New Designer Uniforms despite Uncertain Future

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Italian designer Alberta Ferretti poses with Alitalia airline crew during the official presentation of Alitalia's new Alberta Ferretti-designed uniforms in Milan
Italian designer Alberta Ferretti poses with Alitalia airline crew during the official presentation of Alitalia's new Alberta Ferretti-designed uniforms in Milan, Italy, June 15, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

MILAN (Reuters)

Despite a cloud over its future, Alitalia is decking out its flight attendants in sleek new uniforms designed by Alberta Ferretti featuring the colors of the Italian flag

The loss-making airline, once a symbol of Italy’s post-war economic boom, was put under special administration last year for the second time in a decade, struggling to compete against low cost carriers and high speed trains.

 

Alitalia airline crew members pose with new uniforms during the official presentation of Alitalia's new Alberta Ferretti-designed uniforms in Milan
Alitalia airline crew members pose with new uniforms during the official presentation of Alitalia’s new Alberta Ferretti-designed uniforms in Milan, Italy, June 15, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

 

Italy’s previous government had been looking for new investors, with easyJet, Lufthansa and Wizz Air all submitting expressions of interest.

But the lengthy formation of a new anti-establishment government delayed the process. First contacts between the new administration and Alitalia  could take place next week, a source familiar with the matter said.

 

An Alitalia airline crew member displays her new uniform during the official presentation of Alitalia's new Alberta Ferretti-designed uniforms in Milan
An Alitalia airline crew member displays her new uniform during the official presentation of Alitalia’s new Alberta Ferretti-designed uniforms in Milan, Italy, June 15, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

 

On Friday, Ferretti, known for her feminine style, unveiled a collection of navy blue dresses, skirts and pant suits for Alitalia staff, adorned with green and red striped bows and cuffs, and golden buttons. The designs were matched with red ties and silk scarves and combined with leather gloves and bags.

“I wanted sober lines and for Italian elegance to travel around the world, she told reporters.

 

Italian designer Alberta Ferretti shows the details of a bag during the official presentation of Alitalia's new Alberta Ferretti-designed uniforms in Milan
Italian designer Alberta Ferretti shows the details of a bag during the official presentation of Alitalia’s new Alberta Ferretti-designed uniforms in Milan, Italy, June 15, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

 

Alitalia declined to disclose the cost of the uniforms.

The old look, introduced two years ago by former investor Etihad as part of the Abu Dhabi airline’s relaunch of the carrier, cost some 6 million euros ($7 million). It was criticized by staff as being uncomfortable and impractical.

Asked about the timing, Alitalia Chief Commercial Officer Fabio Lazzerini said the move was part of a broader effort to revamp the airline’s brand.

 

Alitalia airline crew members pose with new uniforms during the official presentation of Alitalia's new Alberta Ferretti-designed uniforms in Milan
Alitalia airline crew members pose with new uniforms during the official presentation of Alitalia’s new Alberta Ferretti-designed uniforms in Milan, Italy, June 15, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

 

“It had to be done, it was a specific request made by the employees,” he said.

In 2006, U.S. carrier Delta launched a new look for staff, despite being in the midst of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

 

An Alitalia airline crew member poses with the new uniform during the official presentation of Alitalia's new Alberta Ferretti-designed uniforms in Milan
An Alitalia airline crew member poses with the new uniform during the official presentation of Alitalia’s new Alberta Ferretti-designed uniforms in Milan, Italy, June 15, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

 

The new Alitalia uniforms will be worn by 6,000 staff, but not pilots, and will be made by Italian uniform maker Forint.

Alitalia said production had started and hoped the uniforms would be out “as soon as possible”, or September at the latest.

($1 = 0.8608 euros)

 

(Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Additional reporting by Alberto Sisto in Rome; Editing by Mark Potter)