Venice, March 25th, 2015 – Venice - Abu Dhabi is set to be the first new route opened by Alitalia since the January 1st, 2015 launch of operations, after Etihad Airways acquired a 49% stake in the company.
The daily connection was presented to business leaders, media and other institutions in Venice today by Alitalia’s Chairman Luca di Montezemolo and CEO Silvano Cassano, together with Enrico Marchi, Chairman of the SAVE Group – Venice Airport, and Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer of Etihad Airways, the strategic equity and codeshare partner of Alitalia, which has added its ‘EY’ code to the service.
Alitalia will reinforce its presence in Italy’s North Eastern airports with the new route, reaching a total of 89 weekly connections from Venice (64) and Verona (25). From Venice alone, Alitalia will offer approximately 600,000 seats on direct flights during the summer season for air transportation (March-October), including those on partner airlines, to Rome, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Paris, Amsterdam, Moscow and Tirana.
The new connections with Abu Dhabi will strengthen Alitalia’s intercontinental offering, allowing passengers departing from North Eastern Italy to reach not just the United Arab Emirates, but continue, thanks to Etihad Airways’ extensive global connections, to 30 destinations in the Middle East (Bahrain, Muscat, Kuwait, Dubai and Al Ain), Africa (Johannesburg, Nairobi and Khartoum), the Indian Subcontinent (Mumbai, Kochi, Delhi, Bangalore, Karachi, Lahore, Dacca, Malè, Seychelles and Colombo), Asia (Beijing, Seoul, Phuket, Chengdu, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta) and Australia (Melbourne, Sydney and Perth).
Luca di Montezemolo, Chairman of Alitalia, said: “We have entered an extremely important phase in the development of Alitalia, with a focus on strengthening our route network in Europe and other key international destinations, such as Abu Dhabi, Seoul, Shanghai and Beijing. Venice was selected for our first new intercontinental flight due to its potential for attracting tourists from the Middle East and beyond, through the network of Etihad Airways, and will play an important role in our ambitious turnaround.”
Silvano Cassano, Chief Executive Officer of Alitalia, declared: “The Veneto region is the second wealthiest area of Italy, and the North Eastern part of the country is one of the large motors in the European economy. Connections to the Indian Subcontinent and East Asia have been in the hands of Alitalia’s competitors for many years. This is about to change, and our strength, together with the strength of Etihad Airways, will allow us to offer destinations, flight frequencies, connections and services that are unrivalled by competitors.”
Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Through our codeshare agreement, Etihad Airways and Alitalia are providing travellers with unmatched depth and breadth into and out of Italy. The launch of Alitalia’s new route from Venice is another important step towards linking the country, not only to Abu Dhabi, but onwards to destinations across the Gulf region, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Asia and Australia. The market response has already been strong and we are delighted to codeshare on the flights.”
Enrico Marchi, Chairman of Save, said: “Alitalia’s new flight to Abu Dhabi represents another point of strength in Venice Airport’s ongoing strategy to expand the number of intercontinental flights offered from Venice. We are certain that Alitalia together with Etihad Airways will effectively grasp the opportunities that a strong and fervent market like Venice and the northeast has to offer, thus expanding its operations both in the European and long haul operations”.
The Venice-Abu Dhabi flight will take off on March 29th, 2015. Simultaneously, Alitalia will also launch a new flight from Milan Malpensa Airport to the capital of the United Arab Emirates, tripling the number of its flights for Abu Dhabi, which will reach a total of 42 weekly flights.
From Venice’s Marco Polo airport, the first Alitalia flight for Abu Dhabi will take off this Sunday, March 29th, at 9:55 pm, landing in Abu Dhabi at 5:55 am (local time) on the following day.
Flights from Abu Dhabi to Venice will depart at 9:05 am (local time) to arrive at the Marco Polo Airport at 1:35 pm. The service will be operated using a 250-seat Airbus A330 aircraft, arranged in three service classes: Magnifica (business class), Classica Plus (premium economy) and Classica (economy).
Tickets for the new Alitalia flights are already available for purchase from alitalia.com, by calling the Alitalia Customer Centre at +39 89.20.10 (+39 06 65649 from outside Italy), from travel agencies and at airport ticket sales desks.