Alitalia has resumed non-stop flights between Rome and Beijing, following its cost-cutting decision to cancel the route back in 2013.

Since then, the airline has benefitted from a 49 per cent ownership stake by Etihad Airways, which has allowed it to restructure its business.

The Rome–Beijing route, which resumed last week, sees flight AZ790 depart Rome every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 1420 and arrive in Beijing at 0620 the following day. The return flight, AZ791 then takes off from Beijing at 0915 before touching back down in Rome at 1425.

Flights are served by the A330-200, which features a three-class configuration with 20 seats in Magnifica (business), 17 in Classica Plus (premium economy) and 219 in Classica (economy). All cabin classes are equipped with wifi connectivity.

Passengers will also benefit from strong connection opportunities to Shanghai and Guangzhou, thanks to routes operated by fellow Skyteam partners China Eastern and China Southern.

“We are a different company than a few years ago: we have made major investments for enhancing products and services; we have put in place important commercial agreements with Chinese partners and we have a strong industrial partnership which supports us in this challenge,” said Alitalia chief executive Cramer Ball to Aviation Tribune.

“The new service to the Chinese capital city is an important investment for Alitalia as part of our strategic growth to serve long haul destinations for the benefit of business and leisure travellers. Italian exports to China will have the opportunity to rise, while the air link should encourage the number of tourists from the Far East to Italy.”

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Clement Huang