1,400 new jobs in three years, starting in May 2000, and capital investment of more than 21 billion lire: these are the figures summing up Alitalia`s new project in the south of Italy, namely the creation of a call center in Palermo to provide front-line telephone services for Alitalia and KLM, partner airlines and, potentially, independent customers as well.
This initiative was approved by the Board of Directors of ALITALIA - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. at the meeting on 2 December and forms part of a strategy to expand the group`s front-line telephone services. This is in response to a situation that is evolving steadily, both in terms of quantity, thanks to rising traffic volumes, and in terms of quality, as additional services are being offered to customers using a combination of traditional methods and state-of-the-art electronic systems.
The Palermo call center will be set up thanks to access to the special conditions offered by the government for entrepreneurial initiatives and job creation schemes in the south of Italy. The center will involve the UK company 7C, which specialises in the area of customer care. This company, which runs quality call centers in Britain, mainly in the field of telecommunications, will possibly even be directly involved in the day-to-day running of the new Palermo call center.
The business of the new call center - which will not have any effect on employment levels at the equivalent structure currently run by Alitalia - will initially be to handle telephone traffic relating to national and international bookings and providing information on the alliance with KLM. It is expected to be up and running by May 2000.
Alitalia`s new call center forms part of a wider project designed to encourage economic growth in the south of Italy. Through Atitech, the subsidiary involved in the maintenance and servicing of Boeing 737s, Alitalia will be creating jobs for around 200 people. Atitech has also launched a feasibility study for an aeronautic hub at Naples, where the company currently employs 770 people.
The Board of Directors also gave its approval - in accordance with article 5 of the articles of association and in compliance with the mandate granted to the board at the extraordinary shareholders` meeting held on 11 June 1999 - to raise the share capital from Lire 1,548,032,868,000 to L. 1,548,444,168,000 by transferring to capital an equivalent amount from the “Reserve for new shares as per art. 2349 of the Italian Civil Code” by issuing 411,300 ordinary shares of par value Lire 1,000 each, with normal dividend rights, for allocation free-of-charge to the Company`s executives.