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Alitalia, after Etihad takeover, plans new routes, 3 hubs, aims for profit in 2017


ROME — Alitalia's new chairman aims to make the airline profitable in 2017 following its takeover by Emirates-based Etihad Airways.

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo also told reporters in Rome Tuesday: "Today there are the conditions, enthusiasm, economic and financial willingness to start the new era of Alitalia."

Alitalia's new strategy envisions new routes from Rome to Dusseldorf, San Francisco, Beijing, Santiago, Chile, among other cities, and extra flights to New York, Chicago, Rio de Janeiro and Abu Dhabi, Etihad's hub.

Strategy focuses on three Italian hubs: Milan's Malpensa airport for increased long-haul flights; Milan's Linate for more connections to partner companies' hubs, and Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport for a wider offer of long-haul destinations and short and-medium-haul flights.

For example, Malpensa will get extra flights to Abu Dhabi, Shanghai and Tokyo.

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