Delta Air Lines is gearing up to make its debut in Naples in 2024 with bookings on the Naples – New York route progressing well.

“Naples and the Amalfi Coast are highly popular with Americans”

Delta Frederic SchenkFrederic Schenk“We are thrilled to introduce this new flight for the summer, which is becoming an increasingly busy period for our transatlantic flights,- says Frederic Schenk, Delta’s regional sales manager Southern Europe. -Naples and the Amalfi Coast are highly popular with Americans and we anticipate robust demand from US travellers for our new flight, with an on-board ratio of approximately 30% Italian-70% American. Naples' strategic position in Southern Italy, coupled with the opportunity to connect to almost 70 destinations across America via our JFK hub, makes this route very appealing.”

Italy is one of Delta’s strategic markets in Europe

Italy has consistently been one of Delta's strategic markets in Europe, “Last year we carried around one million passengers between Italy and the United States. Delta's passengers typically belong to the premium segment, are high spenders and have a preference for premium travel experiences. This is why Delta has a unique advantage in entering the Naples market, acting as the gateway to the Amalfi Coast.”

Delta caters to passengers' travel needs

Delta offers various cabin experiences to cater to passengers' travel needs, ranging from business class, Delta One, which features a fully reclining seat bed, direct aisle access, and a comprehensive meal service, to the main cabin. Onboard amenities include on-demand Wi-Fi with free mobile messaging, entertainment on seat-back screens or personal devices, seat power, and USB ports.

Moving from seven to ten weekly connections

Globally, Delta's Italian summer operations will be a 14% year-on-year increase between Italy and the United States. In addition to the new Naples flight, confirmed connections include Milan Malpensa from New York (year-round) and Atlanta; Rome from New York, Atlanta, Boston (year-round), and Detroit; Venice from New York and Atlanta. Moreover, flights from Atlanta to Venice will see an increase from seven to ten weekly connections.

Published in Transportation

Occasionally things can come back again. And this is indeed the case with the Alitalia brand, which could soon return to fly the blue skies of Italy and around the globe. A possibility that was leaked, more or less clearly, by Antonino Turicchi the executive chairman of ITA Airways when commenting on the airline's 2023 budget. 

A budget that highlights how the carrier has “stopped burning money” and can indeed start “making a profit,” but which, nevertheless, comes up against the obstacle course mapped out by the European Commission, which still has to express its go-ahead for the acquisition of ITA by the Lufthansa group. Indeed, in the last few days a series of “extreme” requests have arrived, as have some tough “sacrifices” for both sides if the merger is to go ahead. These go from the cession of precious slots, to support for competitors to increase competition on routes identified as problematic.

Or course the brand is given as a winner, a nostalgic symbol of that time (another century and another world) when flying was almost a privilege, and synonymous with impeccable service and quality. A fascination that, it goes without saying, rises above the “negative” image the brand had in the latter years of the company's life, when Alitalia was synonymous with bad financial management and operating in the red.

"It will be back," the executive chairman declared, confirming what had already made headlines in 2022, although the last word on the matter rests with the Germans. One thing is certain, the brand acquired for €90 million by ITA Airways in September 2021 was clearly not meant to be hidden under a bushel. A couple of years ago there was talk of a return of the iconic brand on planes operating intercontinental routes, and today there are suggestions that a potential union between ITA and Air Dolomiti (the division, or rather the Italian “gem” of the Lufthansa group) could fly under the Alitalia brand. But only once LH has completed its entry into up to 90% of ITA’s capital. A path which, as we mentioned at the start, is still an uphill one.

Mariella CattaneoMariella Cattaneo

Published in Editorial

Air Transat is gearing up for the summer season with an expansion in the number of direct flights from Canada to Italy, including Toronto-Venice.

“We operate the only direct flight from Canada to Calabria”

Tiziana Della Serra Rephouse

“The point-to-point connection remains our primary focus in Italy,- says Tiziana Della Serra, chief sales & marketing Rephouse, GSA of Air Transat in Italy, highlighting the three airports of Venice, Rome Fiumicino, and Lamezia. – With Lamezia we operate the only direct flight from Canada to Calabria.” In a broader market overview, amidst the anticipated “increased competition on Canada-Italy routes” and more broadly between North America and Italy in 2024, Della Serra states, “To date, the trend in bookings makes us cautiously optimistic.”

A total of 19 direct flights to three Italian airports

Air Transat's summer schedule comprises a total of 19 direct flights to three Italian airports. “On the Montreal-Rome route we will commence from mid-April with a weekly flight, increasing to four from 2 May, and becoming daily from 16 June up to the end of September. The season concludes on 24 October, with five weekly flights. From Toronto to the Italian capital, we will have five flights from 3 May, moving to daily from 13 June until 25 October. Montreal-Venice will kick off from 6 May with a weekly flight, doubling from 14 June  every Sunday and Thursday. Toronto-Venice will start on 4 May with one weekly flight, moving to two weekly flights from 11 June, and Toronto to Lamezia will take off on 12 June, operating weekly.” All flights to Italy use Airbus A330s configured with either 346 seats (12 in Club Class and 334 in Economy Class) or 375 seats (12 in Club Class and 363 in Economy Class).

Published in Transportation

ITA Airways long-haul momentum yields outstanding results, surpassing expectations. 

Thanks chiefly to its long-haul, and in particular the transatlantic routes, ITA Airways is gearing up for the coming summer, and raising the bar even higher, says Emiliana Limosani, CCO of the Italian airline, and CEO of Volare.

How did you close 2023?

"We are very satisfied, we exceeded all forecasts and closed with an operational breakeven a year earlier than forecast in the Industrial Plan, and with a positive EBITA of tens of millions, closing more than €350 million over 2022. We carried 15 million passengers, +50%, with intercontinental routes doubling the number of passengers. We hit EBIT in 2023, after just a year and a half of full operations, on the intercontinental sector. The average load factor was 79%, with intercontinental routes recording the highest average figure of 82%. Total revenue grew by 67% to €2.4 billion, and here too our intercontinental routes drove the results, contributing almost 50%, and doubling the revenue recorded the previous year.” 

What are the main highlights for summer 2024?

"It will be another season of expansion, with 56 destinations, of which 16 domestic, 26 international and 14 intercontinental. We will launch new direct flights from Rome Fiumicino to Chicago (April 2024) Toronto and Riyadh (May 2024), Accra and Kuwait City (June 2024) and Jeddah (August 2024), as well as boosting seasonal flights in the Mediterranean (from Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate to Rhodes, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Menorca, Heraklion, Corfu, Lampedusa and Pantelleria and from Rome Fiumicino to Split and Kefalonia). Our summer 2024 capacity compared to 2023 is up 24%. And our intercontinental routes again show the biggest increase with +43% over 2023, and with+30% on international and +15% on domestic routes." 

What’s happening on the North American market?

"In 2023 the US market was the first internationally for us, both in terms of passengers carried and Volare membership. This year the US is more than 50% of ITA Airways’ long-haul network, and the market is showing robust growth compared to 2023.” 

As US carriers add new routes transatlantic competition is stronger this year. What is ITA's response? 

"Competition is a stimulus for us to do better both in terms of service and growth. Our Italian style is reflected in our products and our on-board service, and American customers like it.  Our competitors capacity is increasing but so is our network, with new flights to Chicago and Toronto, which have strong Italian roots.   The United States is our most strategic market after Italy and it has the largest number of citizens of Italian origin which makes ITA Airways one of their favourite airlines. Beyond tourism and business travel, we guarantee connectivity to the Italian community."

How are your commercial partnerships evolving?

"Our partnerships include TMSs, networks, retailers, OTAs, tour operators, cruise companies, incentive houses and specialists in long-medium haul and high yield traffic. By 2024, with a target of over 290 worldwide agreements with agency groups managing around 16,000 sales outlets, our agents will rise to over 75% of the brokered revenue. I would also like to mention our loyalty Volare programme, which today has over 1.7 million members, which we expect to increase to 2.6 million by the end of 2024."

How is ITA Airways Connect doing?

"In just over two years our B2B ITA Airways Connect community has exceeded 20,000 members in Italy and worldwide (+10,500 unique agencies). Community members have exclusive benefits such as the offer available up to 3 March 2024 for agents and an accompanying person, who can purchase tickets at special fares for travel until 24 March 2024 on all ITA’s domestic, international and intercontinental flights.” 

Published in Transportation

In this age of speed, in a world where flying taxis and AI are driving the travel industry to new heights, travelling by night train seems almost like stepping back in time. 

In Europe this type of travel, after having been overshadowed for a few decades by the dominance of low-cost carriers, seems to be making a comeback. The latest example is Austrian Railways' Nightjet-Obb connecting Paris to Berlin. And Italy, of course, is a particularly charming country to discover by train, as British and North American visitors know only too well, perhaps attracted by slow travel, the quality product, or an affinity for sustainability. Without forgetting that the places of departure and of arrival are an integral part of the journey, and indeed an additional experience. There is still competition from the low-cost carriers which are often the winner. At least for now.

FS Treni Turistici Italiani, the latest of the FS Italian State Railway’s Group's divisions, and the first in Italy dedicated to tourism, recently launched the Rome-Cortina d'Ampezzo. The route from the capital to the Queen of the Dolomites ran up to the 1960s, and is now a high-end offer. The vintage trains now have renovated interiors and hi-tech, single or double sleeping cabins, a dinner and breakfast service and four or six-seater couchettes that can also be reserved for group travel, while the restaurant car, with a selection of regional excellences and the bar, is open all night.  A success?  Time will tell.

Mariella CattaneoMariella Cattaneo

Published in Editorial

Trenitalia is conquering more and more foreign tourists, with North Americans in prominence, as the FS Group’s passenger hub grows.  

This winter Trenitalia will operate 24,000 trains daily

The winter season - Winter Experience 2023-24 – which commenced in 10 December will  consist of 24,000 national trains per day (by train and bus, in line with the growing intramodality trend) and 13,000 in Europe. In the first ten months of the year the Group handled over half a billion passengers (+20% compared to 2022), with 100 million in the summer alone. July and August were peak months for Frecciarossa (8 million passengers, +21% on 2022), Intercity (4 million passengers, +8% on 2022), and Regional (65 million passengers, +12% on 2022). The purchase of tickets via digital channels also surged  by +31% compared to last year, driven by international buyers.

“This year we had an 80% increase in travellers from North America”

“This year we are witnessing a substantial increase, approximately +80%, in travellers from North America, said Pietro Diamantini, Trenitalia AV business director. -We are also focusing on the recently opened markets of South-East Asia, China, Korea, India, and Australia, areas which, for various reasons, reopened late due to Covid. Next year we expect further growth from North America: Italy is perceived as a safe country, with a railway service of great appeal. Some 67% of the tickets sold in North America are for business and executive class, which means we will make even more efforts to offer better service on board and on the ground.”

Trains are replacing flights on many routes

Luigi Corradi, CEO and director general of Trenitalia, added that passenger numbers for Europe are even more striking. “Until recently thinking of reaching Italy from Paris meant getting on a plane. Well, today the Paris-Milan route is practically full of French tourists. A sign that the use of the train even on long international routes is no longer in the future but already a reality.” Trenitalia operates 13,000 daily connections (train and bus) in Europe: from Spain (70 per day with Iryo), to France (10 with the Trenitalia France brand), and then Germany, Austria, and Switzerland with the 48 Eurocity and Euronight traains, Greece with Hellenic Train (400), the UK with Trenitalia UK (600), Holland with Qbuzz buses (over 9,000) and, again, Germany with Netinera (2,500).

Published in Transportation

No longer just business travel, because 2023 has consecrated Milan as a prime leisure destination. And, once again, there are statistics to mark this transformation. With a constant growth in arrivals of 778,641 last October (6% higher than in 2019) there was also a swing in seasonality. While in the last pre-pandemic year the peak months for visitors were September and October - with the highest figure in October - this year the most significant numbers were concentrated between May and July; the latter hitting an absolute record for arrivals with +33% against 2019.

This analysis is from Fiorenza Lipparini, general manager of Milano&Partners, the official agency created by the Municipality of Milan and the Chamber of Commerce of Milan, Monza Brianza and Lodi that promotes the city under the YesMilano brand.

So summer, the holiday season par excellence, has become the key period for arrivals to Milan, a novelty that was likely propelled by Expo 2015. "The city is, to all intents and purposes, a tourist hotspot,- says Lipparini, - but this in no way detracts from its more characteristic face; on the contrary, it adds to it. Milan aims to lure foreign investments and position itself as a hub for premium talent and start-ups. Without forgetting the Mice segment: 'Today we are well positioned compared to European and international competitors - from Paris to Berlin via London-, we are in a position to compete and excel.” 

Mariella CattaneoMariella Cattaneo

Published in Editorial

Caught in an almost Hamlet-like dilemma, torn between the ambition to achieve zero emissions by 2050, a shared goal in the global aviation industry, and the race to set new passenger records, Italian airports are savoring the results of 2023 while fulfilling the promise of post-pandemic recovery. What's more, they reaffirm their pivotal role in the country's economy.

A recent study conducted by Nomisma for Assaeroporti highlights the significant contributions of airports to Italy's GDP and employment. The data reveals that the aviation sector's added value amounts to 3.8% of Italy's GDP, "with a substantial contribution from the sector, totaling €65.1 billion in direct, indirect, induced, and catalytic impacts (i.e., the estimated influence of airport infrastructure on the local area)," as emphasized by Carlo Borgomeo, president of Assaeroporti. "It also becomes apparent that the airport system generates approximately 1.3 million jobs, and for every additional million units transported (passengers and cargo), an estimated 552 new airport employees and 6,105 new national-level jobs are created."

These numbers resonate, with the number of passengers carried certifying that pre-Covid levels have been surpassed. In September 2023 alone, Italian airports saw 20 million travelers pass through, a 4.8% increase over 2019 levels. Since the beginning of the year, a total of 152 million passengers have transited, marking a 1.6% increase compared to 2019.

The study underlines the inseparable connection between airports, tourism, industrial, logistical, and commercial activities, stating that "these infrastructures serve as a driving force for activation, and an engine for the economic structure of the country and for the local contexts in which they are situated." However, it is crucial to bear in mind that the establishment of a single airport doesn't automatically ensure prosperity. This is why deputy minister for infrastructure and transport, Galeazzo Bignami, suggests, "We must think in terms of not necessarily reducing them but rationalizing them."

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Published in Editorial

ITA Airways has revealed its first changes for summer 2024, which include new connections from Chicago and Toronto to Rome Fiumicino.

ITA’s 2023-24 winter schedule will include 52 destinations

“Intercontinental travel has driven our growth over the last two years, – says Emiliana Limosani, CCO of ITA Airways– and today it makes up 45% of our revenues globally. In terms of flights, 45% are point to point, and 55% are connections.” ITA’s 2023-24 winter schedule will include 52 destinations: 17 national, 23 international and 12 intercontinental. 

“We are leaders from South America to Italy”

“Our next stop is the opening of the Rome Fiumicino-Rio de Janeiro. South America, where we already operate flights to Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, is a market in which we are leaders in terms of traffic to and from Italy thanks to one of the largest communities of Italians in the world. From December we will once again fly to the Maldives, a highly sought-after destination for leisure traffic."

A rapidly growing network

These flights are in addition to those already active to New York, both from Rome Fiumicino and Milan Malpensa and those to Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Tokyo and New Delhi operated from Rome Fiumicino. The schedule will also include the debut of the Chicago-Rome flight from 7 April with 6 weekly flights (which will become 7 from June), and the Toronto-Rome flight from 1 May, with 6 weekly flights (which will increase to 7 from June).  2024 will also see the introduction of flights to Riyadh from May; Accra and Kuwait City, from June; to Dakar, from July and to Jeddah from October. 2requencies on the routes "for Southern Italy and the islands, those between Rome and Frankfurt and between Rome and Munich will then be increased.”

“In 2024 ITA will operate with 96 aircraft” 

2023 also saw the ITA Airways fleet grow to the current 79 Airbus aircraft, of which 29 are latest generation. The first Airbus A321neo is expected to enter the fleet by the end of the year. “It will be the first narrow body aircraft configured with three separate cabins: Business Class (12 seats), Premium Economy (12 seats) and Economy (141 seats), of which 12 will be Comfort Economy," The first Airbus A220-100 will enter service at the end of 2023. "2024 will see ITA operate with a fleet of 96 aircraft - compared to 52 at the start of operations two years ago - of which 66% are new generation" said general manager, Andrea Benassi.

Published in Transportation

Naples Airport gains popularity among US legacy carriers, strengthening its position as a preferred destination for major US airlines. 

“Our network comprises 113 destinations, predominantly international

Both American Airlines and Delta Air Lines are now joining United Airlines, a trailblazer in flights between Capodichino and New York, signalling a significant expansion of the airport's intercontinental network. Roberto Barbieri, CEO of Gesac, the management company of Naples International Airport, explains, “Our network comprises 113 destinations, predominantly international, which have significantly boosted incoming traffic, with the most substantial markets originating from Great Britain, France, Germany, Scandinavia, and the Baltic countries.”

2023 has been a milestone year for Naples Airport

The concluding year witnessed several milestones for the Neapolitan airport, particularly during the summer. “Various records were achieved, including the historic peak of passengers in a month recorded in August, with over 1 million 475 thousand transits and a single-day record of 52,843 passengers on 11 August. We anticipate closing 2023 with over 12 million passengers, surpassing pre-COVID and 2022 levels. These encouraging figures reflect the substantial efforts we have made with airlines to enhance and diversify the network, promoting the use of larger aircraft with lower environmental impact.”

In 2024 there will be four daily US-Naples flights 

Regarding network expansion, Barbieri says, “In addition to point-to-point connections, we are placing significant emphasis on intercontinental connectivity. The US market, in particular, will be further boosted from spring 2024, with the introduction of flights to Philadelphia and New York JFK, operated by American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, respectively. These routes complement the existing double connection to Newark/New York served by United Airlines, bringing the daily flights from Naples to the United States to four.”

“A rich and diversified network”

Highlighting the strengths of Capodichino, Barbieri says the airport has, “Certainly, a rich and diversified network and a balanced customer portfolio consisting of major low-cost carriers based in Naples and legacy carriers. Thanks to connections to the main hubs the latter allow passengers to continue to any destination worldwide with a single transit. The market is responding positively despite inflationary pressure.”

Published in Transportation
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