Constantly improving carrier Alitalia announced this week the launch of their new flasgship airport lounges across their network. Starting with ‘Casa Alitalia’ in both Rome and Venice, these two new lounges offer increased comfort with a bold new aesthetic that reflects its namesake. It’s great to see yet another carrier embracing differences and challenging the historically drab and cold lounge offerings of the last decade.
These grand – almost palatial – spaces still have a residential feel, even though they employ clean Italian marble finishes, designer furniture and ornate entrance doors in each of the two first lounges.
“With Casa Alitalia we will showcase Italian excellence and style in an elegant yet relaxed setting, where a warm welcome with attention to details will make our guests from all over the world feel as they were in a typical Italian home,” said the CEO Cramer Ball. “The opening of these new lounges is a further step in the re-launch plan of our ground and in-flight services. We aim to become the best airline in Europe, and to achieve this we must ensure excellent service for our passengers before, during and after their flights.”
The lounge was born through a collaboration of Alitalia team members and famous Italian architect Marco Piva whose work include Rome’s Domus Aventino and Bvlgari window concepts. The design style is bold, certainly Italian, and matches the current brand ethos found running through the new cabins, uniforms and new advertising campaigns.
The interior designer’s remit was to introduce guests to a homely atmosphere, away from the more chaotic airport environment. The home concept runs deep, and there is even a live cooking area, where twice daily, the chef prepares a wide selection of pasta and pizza dishes (naturally) in front of the guests.
The lounges are well catered, featuring VIP rooms and rooms for private meetings, a library, a prayer area, bathrooms with showers and Wi-Fi connectivity. There is a hint of Etihad at work here, Poltrona Frau, Etihad’s leather brand of choice have upholstered the chairs, and there are more brand partnerships at work.
Showcasing the very best of Italian product, Alitalia have partnered with Cantine Ferrari, Alitalia’s official sparkling wine supplier; Lavazza, which has created exclusive coffee blends for the Italian airline; and Terme di Sirmione, whose wellness products are available for guests.
In Rome, the lounge replaces the former Giotto lounge, the space is roughly 800 square metres and has a seating capacity for 115 guests. Meanwhile in Milan Malpensa’s Satellite Nord boarding area, the slightly smaller lounge can cater for 90 guests with its 500 square metre footprint.
Theses two new spaces are just the tip of Alitalia’s lounge refurbishment iceberg. Venice, Catania, Linate and Rome have already seen new lounges, and Naples, New York, and Rome’s other lounges (including two brand new lounges ‘Molo B and Molo F” are all in line to be refurbished by 2017.
The Big Picture Roma
The Big Picture Milano