Alitalia's 2016 commercial road show started out yesterday night in Naples. A “tour of Italy” with 14 stopovers in 43 days during which the Company will present its new products and services aimed at travel agencies and large, medium and small business customers. The Alitalia network will take centre stage at the meetings, with a special focus on its growth. Long-haul flights will grow 7% this year thanks to the launch of new routes to Santiago (from 1 May) and Mexico City (from 16 June), whilst flights to Los Angeles and Chicago will be resumed. In response to passenger demand, Alitalia will also step up its flights to Iran, France, the Czech Republic and Lebanon. In the domestic market, the offering will expand with a new Bologna-Catania route (from 1 May), new flights from Bologna to Calabria (in August), and increased flights between northern and southern Italy. Together with the SkyTeam alliance and Etihad Airways Partner airlines, Alitalia offers flights to more than 1,000 destinations around the world.
The initiative will be presented by Nicola Bonacchi, the Company's Vice President for Italy Sales, and his commercial team dedicated to the Italian market. Mr Bonacchi will present another vital element in the Company's process of relaunching its activities worldwide to partners from the tourism sector: investment in the refurbishment of cabin interiors and in-flight services. A showcase for Alitalia to display the best of its long-haul services in its Business, Premium Economy and Economy classes to the trade, especially its gastronomic offering, which has enabled the Company to win the Best Airline Cuisine Award from the American magazine Global Traveler for six years' running.
Alitalia is also carrying out substantial investment in ground services, including nine lounges in Italy and around the world by the end of 2016; the Chauffeur service with luxury cars for Business Class passengers flying to New York, Abu Dhabi and beyond; and the Transit Team, which will assist and accompany passengers making rapid transits at Rome Fiumicino. These are just a few of the innovations that Mr Bonacchi will present to tourism operators during the meetings.
There will also be space for dialogue, during which commercial partners will be able to set out the main market requirements and identify shared opportunities to be exploited.
The 14 cities along the Alitalia 2016 commercial roadshow route are: Naples, Venice, Bologna, Milan, Catania, Rome, Palermo, Lecce, Bari, Cagliari, Genoa, Turin, Florence and Verona.