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ITA Airways. The long-haul momentum yields outstanding results 

By Monday, 05 February 2024 08:00

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.” 

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