Alitalia has announced plans to ramp up services next month, including the resumption of its nonstop Rome-New York routes from June 2.
The airline has been operating a number of repatriation flights and services on critical public service routes since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, but the new plans represent a resumption of regular services to key destinations.
The flag carrier is currently operating about 12 per cent of flights compared with this time last year, but says it will resume direct services from Rome to Madrid and Barcelona in June, as well as flights between Milan and southern Italy.
In total the airline will operate 30 routes to 25 airports (15 in Italy and ten abroad), offering around 36 per cent more flights than in May.
All Milan services will operate from Malpensa until the reopening of Linate, from where there will be services to Rome, Bari, Catania, Palermo, Cagliari, Alghero and Olbia.
And next month Alitalia will resume regular services from Rome to domestic destinations including Alghero, Bologna, Bari, Genoa, Lamezia Terme, Milan, Naples, Olbia, Pisa, Turin and Venice, as well as international routes to Barcelona, Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, London, Madrid, Munich, New York, Paris and Zurich.
The carrier says it estimates it will operate around 40 per cent of its normal schedule by the third quarter of this year, and said that demand is already benefiting from “the progressive abolition by foreign countries of restrictions on flights and passengers from Italy, as well as from lower disincentive guidelines for travels to Italy”.
Capacity on all aircraft has been “more than halved” in order to comply with state requirements on social distancing on aircraft.
In a statement Alitalia said:
“Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Alitalia has never suspended its flight operations ensuring an essential public service for travellers and operating, on average, more flights than the main European airlines, in particular the low cost carriers.
“Despite the need to adopt a limited flight programme, in April, for instance, Alitalia operated about 10 per cent of flights compared to the same month of the previous year, against an average of 6 per cent of flights operated by the main European flag carriers and about 2 per cent of flights operated by no frills airlines.”
In March we reported that the carrier would emerge from the crisis as a new “mini Alitalia”, with around 25-30 aircraft and 3,000 employees – and this month Reuters reported that the Italian government is to inject at least €3 billion of capital into the airline.