In a step towards the expansion of its network in the Asian market, ITA Airways announced the commencement of flights from New Delhi to Rome. The first flight departed from New Delhi to Rome Fiumicino at 03:50 AM on Monday, December 5.
This is the first time ITA Airways operates in the Indian market and, more importantly, the Company is the only airline to operate a direct Rome Fiumicino – New Delhi flight.
“We are happy to inaugurate today the ITA Airways’ Rome Fiumicino – New Delhi connections, the only direct flights between these two capitals. With the opening of this new route for the transport of passengers and cargo between Italy and India, ITA Airways is further contributing to the cultural integration and development of the economic relationship between the two countries. This is a reflection of a solid political and commercial collaboration in recent years, with the presence of more than 600 Italian companies in India and a bilateral interchange that in 2021 reached a record value of more than 10 billion euros. We have thus taken an important step forward in the project of expanding our intercontinental network towards a fascinating destination and a market full of opportunities. Our Indian customers will now be able to visit not only Italy but all of Europe thanks to convenient connections offered from our Rome Fiumicino hub.”Emiliana Limosani, Chief Commercial Officer, ITA Airways and CEO Volare
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Monday, December 5. The ceremony was attended by Pierfrancesco Carino, Vice President of International Sales ITA Airways and Fabio Bigotti, Country Manager India ITA Airways.
According to the airline, the new route will be operated with an Airbus A330, three times a week, departing from New Delhi, every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. And, the return flights from Rome Fiumicino will depart every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
With the new intercontinental connection, ITA Airways is further expanding into the Asian market, while it continues to strengthen its ability to attract connecting customers, tapping into the flows between India and North America, Germany, Spain and France, it shared.
Currently, ITA Airways has an interline agreement with Vistara for enhanced Indian operations concerning the flights. This collaboration allows customers on ITA Airways’ Rome – New Delhi flight to fly on connecting domestic and international flights from Vistara’s hub at Indira Gandhi International Airport.
These include Mumbai, Amritsar, Kolkata, Bangalore, Kochi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Chandigarh and Dabolim in the Indian market and Bangkok, Kathmandu and Dhaka at the international level, the airline shared.
To support the new intercontinental flight from New Delhi to Rome and to enhance local awareness of the new Italian flagship carrier, ITA Airways has also launched a multi-channel advertising campaign in India, which highlights the New Delhi-Rome connection as well as promotes Italy as a destination. The “It’s A” campaign will be live until December 13.
In terms of the intercontinental network, the airline will serve a total of 51 destinations in the winter season, of which 9 are intercontinental, 22 are international and 20 are domestic. All these new intercontinental routes are joining flights to New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, Buenos Aires and São Paulo opened earlier this year.
With this, the company aims to focus primarily on its long-haul expansion project with several important new routes including, in addition to New-Delhi, the recently launched Tokyo-Haneda and the Maldives (Malé) which will be opened on December 17.
“India, with over 230 thousand passengers carried during 2019, represents a market of primary importance for our airport’s intercontinental connectivity and the opening of this route confirms the importance of Italy’s main airport in ITA Airways’ development strategy. At the same time, it confirms the levels of attractiveness reached by the Roman hub towards airlines and passengers, in a context in which the recovery of air traffic has given new life to international destinations with reconfirmed interest in long-haul travel after two years of stop due to the Covid restrictions.”Ivan Bassato, Chief Aviation Officer, Aeroporti di Roma
In addition, in 2023 the Company is also expected to open additional new intercontinental destinations with direct flights operated from Rome Fiumicino to San Francisco and Washington in the United States, to Rio de Janeiro in South America and, with the entry in the fleet of the new A321Neo aircraft, to destinations in the Middle East, such as Riyadh, Jeddah and Kuwait City.
Italian Ambassador to India Vincenzo De Luca, on Sunday, said that Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA) Airways’ direct flight between Delhi to Rome would give a significant boost to the connectivity between India and Italy.
Talking about boosting the relationship between the two countries, Luca said, “Connectivity between Italy and India will enhance relations. We’ve increasing exports and imports between the two countries. Direct flight (between Italy and Delhi) will boost movement and relations between two countries”.
ITA will use its hub for its specific strategy to expand its network in Asia and bring more Indian passengers to Italy. The airline hopes promoting its New Delhi service will appeal to India, allowing passengers to continue to other destinations in its domestic network for business or leisure travel.
Meanwhile, ITA Airways will next year refresh its fleet with 39 new aircraft, allowing it to serve more long-distance destinations. According to the news agency Reuters, by the end of 2023, ITA said it will have 96 planes, half of which will be new, including the single-aisle A321Neo. ITA was established in late 2020 from the ashes of bankrupt Alitalia and has yet to turn a profit.