Alitalia is expected to open a direct flight from Rome to Mexico City after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Mexican Government.
The aircraft serving the route could be a Boeing 777 or an Airbus A330. According to Alitalia, the new route is possible because of the investment plan the airline has implemented which includes a renewal of the long haul fleet. In August 2014, Etihad Airways announced a 560 million euro ($629 million) investment in Alitalia to acquire a 49 per cent shareholding. As part of that investment, Etihad is helping Alitalia with its fleet.
As part of the Etihad investment and strategy for Alitalia, the Italian airline re-launched its livery with an Airbus A330 on 4 June at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport with the Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, in attendance, and Etihad chief executive officer, James Hogan (see above, centre of picture. Left is Alitalia’s chief executive officer (CEO), Silvano Cassano, and right is Alitalia’s chairman, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo). Hogan is also Alitalia’s vice chairman.
The A330 with the new livery was one of two new aircraft of that type, joining the Alitalia fleet to make it 24. The 24 consists of 14 Airbus A330 and 10 Boeing 777. By 2018 five new aircraft are to be added.
Alitalia’s CEO, Silvano Cassano, says: “The recovery plan for Alitalia that hinges specifically on the development of the long range. The flight to Mexico City responds to market demands that appear to be of great interest, both in terms of traditional tourism, business tourism and cargo.”
The MoU was signed at the Italy-Mexico business council in Milan. The signing was presided over by Mexico’s president Enrique Peña Nieto and Renzi. Since the start of 2015 Alitalia has launched flights to Seoul, Shanghai (China) and Abu Dhabi. Rome to Beijing will also begin from September.