Air Transport World

Alitalia's trial by fire. (airline performs well in 1991)

ROME--The airlines industry has just suffered through one of the worst years in the history of commercial aviation and Alitalia Managing Director Giovanni Bisignani couldn't be happier. "I want to go against the trend," he told journalists assembled at the company's new office complex for the airline's annual press conference: "For alitalia, 1991 has been a positive and also an important year."

Bisignani's good news is quite a change from the gloom and doom emanating from most airlines head offices these days and reflects his belief that Alitalia has weathered a major crisis successfully, thanks in large part to the corporate restructuring and new business strategies implemented over the past few years (ATW, 9/91).

Sure, Alitalia ended the year in the red--few airlines didn't. But quick response to the Gulf War-triggered airline crisis enabled Alitalia to depart 1991 with only minimal damage to its financial structure and with a greatly strengthened market position, according to Bisignani and COO Ferruccio Pavolini. …

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