Italy’s largest privately owned airline, Meridiana, is focusing on a “multi-services provider” strategy to please all-comers. Gianni Rossi, Meridiana chief executive, says the characteristics of the Sicilian-based airline’s network allow it to serve a broad range of customer segments in the business and leisure traveller markets from its strong axes in Sardinia, Sicily and Florence.

“Our position in the Sardinia, Sicily and Tuscany markets is particularly strong in terms of relations with the major incoming players, such as tour operators and travel agency networks,” says Rossi. Meridiana is therefore aiming to strengthen its role in Europe as a main Italian incoming carrier, offering not only transfers between cities, but a full tourist service, based both on partnership with the main players in the Italian tourist market and on its particular know-how.

Rossi says low-cost carriers in Italy are stronger in the outbound segment and is looking for ways they could work together. “We’re currently studying a strategy to co-operate instead of blindly competing,” he says.

The advent of the low-cost carrier will force the Italian air travel market to evolve in the same way as other major European markets. “That means reducing the market share of traditional carriers and improving player offering. If the market demand is becoming more complex in each segment, then supply must change towards the same logic. Meridiana is working in this direction,” says Rossi.

Source: Flight International