Alitalia, Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi International Airport celebrate direct Rome-Abu Dhabi services
· Flight arrival ceremony attended by Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister for Foreign Trade, His Excellency Giorgio Starace, Italian Ambassador to the UAE, and senior executives from Etihad Airways, Alitalia and ADAC. · Onward
Alitalia, Italy’s flag carrier has begun direct services from Rome to Abu Dhabi with a celebratory flight to the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) arriving last night.
Flight AZ854 touched down at Abu Dhabi International Airport at 7.55pm local time and was greeted by a traditional water canon salute.
Also greeting the flight were H.E. Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister for Foreign Trade, H.E. Giorgio Starace, Italian Ambassador to the UAE, H. E. Ali Majed Al Mansoori, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), and senior executives from Etihad Airways.
Alitalia are operating the new flights in conjunction with codeshare partner Etihad Airways. The launch of the new direct Rome-Abu Dhabi service follows last August’s announcement that the Italian carrier would fly four weekly return Airbus A330 services between the two capitals.
Welcoming the flight to Abu Dhabi International Airport, H. E. Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister for Foreign Trade, said: “It is always a pleasure to see the relationship between the UAE and its friends growing into actual business ventures and economic cooperation. Alitalia’s decision to come to Abu Dhabi demonstrates the capital’s growing importance as a trade and tourism hub in the Middle East. Abu Dhabi is looking forward to further deepening such opportunities in ways which are beneficial to all parties.”
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Today’s flight is yet another positive milestone in our expanding partnership with Alitalia. It underscores our commitment to grow the partnership by providing this new and fantastic proposition for both airlines' business and leisure customers, giving them direct access to Rome and Abu Dhabi respectively, and beyond across both networks. In addition, it allows customers to earn and burn frequent flyer miles on both airlines' combined networks. We look forward to further developing our relationship and exploring more codeshare opportunities in the future.”
H. E. Ali Majed Al Mansoori, Chairman of ADAC, said: “Abu Dhabi is witnessing continuous growth in air traffic movements as a result of joint Government and corporate’ efforts to provide world-class airports and aviation services, and the position Abu Dhabi holds as a key connecting destination in the region. ADAC is proud to welcome Alitalia to Abu Dhabi International Airport and is committed to offering the airline unparalleled service, whilst welcoming Italian passengers to the world-class city of Abu Dhabi.”
Andrea Tucci, Alitalia Vice President Alliances & Network Agreements, said: “Today marks the first time Alitalia lands at Abu Dhabi International Airport, one of the most important hubs in the world. The new Alitalia Rome-Abu Dhabi route strengthens the partnership between Alitalia and Etihad Airways, developed in December 2009 with a codesharing agreement. Thanks to this new flight, Italian travellers now have the opportunity to travel to the UAE with a direct link from Rome and, via an easy connection at Abu Dhabi International Airport with Etihad Airways, to many important tourist destinations across Australia, Thailand, Oman, Bahrain and South Africa. We’re extremely proud that these four weekly flights will be operated by a brand new Alitalia Airbus A330. On board our aircraft our customers will be able to experience our “Magnifica” business class service, the top of its category globally, and savour our delicious onboard menu which has recently been awarded “Best Airline Cuisine” for the third year in a row by American Global Traveller magazine.
Flights from Abu Dhabi depart at 8:15am on Thursdays and Sundays, and at 2:25am on Mondays and Wednesdays. Flights from Rome depart at 9:45pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays and at 11:15am on Tuesdays and Sundays.
The split schedule ensures maximum connectivity over Abu Dhabi International Airport – Etihad Airways’ hub – to codeshare destinations such as Bahrain, Muscat, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Melbourne and Sydney.
Equally, the new service will ensure efficient codeshare connectivity beyond Rome to the cities of Athens, Milan, Frankfurt, Munich, Geneva, Venice and Zurich.
In addition to the codeshare with Alitalia, Etihad Airways has 40 other codeshare agreements in place with airlines across the world. Codeshare partnerships, along with equity acquisitions and organic growth, form the three pillars of Etihad Airways’ expansion plans.
Photo caption 1: Alitalia flight AZ854 touched down at Abu Dhabi International Airport at 7.55pm, and was greeted by a traditional water canon salute.
Photo caption 2: From left to right – Etihad Airways and Alitalia crew accompanied by Mr Andrea Tucci, Alitalia Vice President Alliances & Network Agreements, H. E. Ali Majed Al Mansoori, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), H. E. Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister for Foreign Trade, H. E. Giorgio Starace, Italian Ambassador to the UAE and Mr Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer.
Photo caption 3: From left to right - H. E. Ali Majed Al Mansoori, Chairman of the ADAC, H. E. Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister for Foreign Trade, Mr Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, Mr Andrea Tucci, Alitalia Vice President Alliances & Network Agreements, and H. E. Giorgio Starace, Italian Ambassador cut the ceremonial cake.
Etihad Airways (EY) Italy-UAE Winter Schedule Alitalia (AZ) Italy-UAE Winter Schedule
Dept Sta Arvl Sta Freq Dept Time Arvl Time a/c Dept Sta Arvl Sta Freq Dept Time Arvl Time a/c
MXP AUH .2.4.6. 21:00 06:10 A332 FCO AUH ..3..6. 21:45 06:25 A330
MXP AUH 22.214.171.124 10:45 19:55 A332 FCO AUH .2….7 11:15 19:55 A330
AUH MXP .2.4.6 09:05 13:00 A332 AUH FCO …4..7 08:15 12:10 A330
AUH MXP 126.96.36.199 02:25 06:20 A332 AUH FCO 1.3…. 02:25 06:20 A330
About Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC)
Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) is a public joint-stock company wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi Government. It was incorporated by Amiri Decree number 5, issued on 4 March 2006, to spearhead the development of the Emirate's aviation infrastructure. In September 2006, ADAC assumed responsibility for the operation and management of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain International Airports. In 2008, ADAC added Al Bateen Executive Airport (an exclusive private aviation airport), and Sir BaniYas and Delma Island Airports to its portfolio. These airports are geared to serve the various segments of air travellers, the aviation marketplace, and will help contribute to Abu Dhabi’s development as a destination for both business and leisure tourism.
Currently under way is the multi-billion dollar re-development and expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport designed to increase the overall capacity of the airport to more than 40 million passengers per year. As part of this redevelopment, a second runway and a third terminal have been completed. For more information please visit: www.adac.ae and www.adacmediacentre.com
About Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, began operations in 2003, and in 2011 carried 8.3 million passengers. From its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad Airways serves 86 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, with a fleet of 68 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and more than 90 aircraft on order, including 10 Airbus A380s, the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Etihad Airways also hold equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia and Aer Lingus. For more information, please visit: www.etihad.com
Alitalia - is Italy's leading airline operating more than 4,200 weekly flights in the winter season 2012-2013, across a network of 79 destinations - 22 of which in Italy and 57 in the rest of the world. It flew 25 million passengers in 2011 with a fleet of 140 aircraft (as on November 2012). A plan is underway to renew the fleet thus allowing Alitalia, by 1 Januar 2013, to have a fully new or renewed fleet, among the youngest (6.5 years of average lifetime) and the most efficient in the world (through a reduced number of aircraft families) with an added plus, i.e. a low impact on the environment. The Alitalia network is based at seven airports: Rome, Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa, Turin, Venice, Naples and Catania. Further information on www.alitalia.com