The flag-carrier of Italy – Alitalia – has re-launched direct flights to India after an absence of nine years connecting New Delhi and Rome.

A daily service will be operational until March 24, 2018 between Delhi and Rome. The premier flight from Rome took off on October 29, while the inaugural flight from New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport took off on October 30. Alitalia operates its 250-seater Airbus 330 aircraft for this route.

“India represents a unique opportunity to position ourselves in a country which is already becoming more and more important. From a cultural and tourist point of view also, we have thousands of years of history. This is why we are reinvesting in the country and we are back. We could have been back earlier than this but better late than never,” says Fabio Lazzerini, chief commercial officer at Alitalia.

Flight AZ769 departs from New Delhi at 0420 and arrives in Rome at 0840. AZ770 departs from Rome at 1440 and arrives in New Delhi at 0230.

According to the Italian Foreign Ministry and Italian National Statistical Institute, Italy is the second European country, after Great Britain, which accounts for the maximum arrivals from India. In 2015 over 4,26,000 travellers from India arrived in Italy, recording a growth of 49.7 per cent versus the previous year.

Passengers departing from Delhi, upon arrival at Rome Fiumicino airport will benefit from easy connections to 39 cities in Europe including Italy, North Africa and the Americas served by Alitalia.