Alitalia adds Beijing and Rio routes

8 Jun 2011 by BusinessTraveller

Italian national carrier Alitalia has launched services from Rome to the capital of China and Brazil’s second largest city.

Alitalia can claim a first with the introduction of direct flights between Rome and Rio de Janeiro, a route not currently served by any other airline.

In June, the airline will operate Rome-Rio flights three times a week, before adding a fourth service in July.

The new Rome Fiumicino-Beijing flight operates four times a week, with an additional flight to be added in October taking it to five times per week.

Alitalia already codeshares with China Eastern on flights between Rome and Shanghai.

Giancarlo Schisano, Alitalia’s director of operations, said China and Brazil represent “target markets” for expansion.

Alitalia’s international growth strategy “focuses on areas of the world with the highest growth rate for leisure and business traffic,” he added.

The new flights are operated using new A330 Airbus aircraft, with a 3-class cabin configuration: Magnifica (business), Classica Plus (premium eceonomy) and Classica (economy).

Alitalia has taken delivery of four new Airbus A330s in the past year.

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Report by Sara Turner

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