Alitalia begins direct Rome-Abu Dhabi service
Abu Dhabi, December 5, 2012
Alitalia, Italy’s flag carrier has begun direct services from Rome to Abu Dhabi with a celebratory flight to the UAE capital arriving last night.
Flight AZ854 touched down at Abu Dhabi International Airport at 7.55pm local time and was greeted by a traditional water canon salute.
Also greeting the flight were Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister for Foreign Trade, Giorgio Starace, Italian Ambassador to the UAE, Ali Majed Al Mansoori, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), and senior executives from Etihad Airways.
Alitalia is operating the new flights in conjunction with codeshare partner Etihad Airways.
The launch of the new direct Rome-Abu Dhabi service follows the last August announcement that the Italian carrier would fly four weekly return Airbus A330 services between the two capitals.
James Hogan, president and chief executive officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Today’s flight is yet another positive milestone in our expanding partnership with Alitalia. It underscores our commitment to grow the partnership by providing this new and fantastic proposition for both airlines' business and leisure customers, giving them direct access to Rome and Abu Dhabi respectively, and beyond across both networks.
“In addition, it allows customers to earn and burn frequent flyer miles on both airlines' combined networks. We look forward to further developing our relationship and exploring more codeshare opportunities in the future.”
Andrea Tucci, Alitalia vice president Alliances & Network Agreements, said: “Thanks to this new flight, Italian travellers now have the opportunity to travel to the UAE with a direct link from Rome and, via an easy connection at Abu Dhabi International Airport with Etihad Airways, to many important tourist destinations across Australia, Thailand, Oman, Bahrain and South Africa.”
The four weekly flights will be operated by a brand new Alitalia Airbus A330, he added.
Equally, the new service will ensure efficient codeshare connectivity beyond Rome to the cities of Athens, Milan, Frankfurt, Munich, Geneva, Venice and Zurich. – TradeArabia News Service