02 Jul 2014 14:00
Alitalia, Italy’s leading carrier and a partner of the SkyTeam Alliance, and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, have jointly been named as Official Global Airline Carriers for Expo 2015.
Expo 2015, the upcoming
Universal Exposition will be held in Milan from 1 May to 31 October 2015.
An estimated 20 million
visitors are expected to attend Expo 2015, of which approximately 7.6 million
will travel to Milan by air, with 1.5 million arriving from intercontinental
destinations, 3.3 million from international destinations and 2.8 million from
As a commitment to the event, Alitalia
and Etihad Airways will offer almost 100 flights per day to and from Milan,
linking 866 cities across the globe through 125 direct flights and a further
741 via one-stop connections.
Gabriele Del Torchio, Chief Executive
Officer of Alitalia, said: "Expo 2015 will be a remarkable opportunity for
Italy. We could not miss being part of
it, and we are very proud that Alitalia and Etihad Airways have been jointly chosen
as the Official Global Airline Carriers.
“The choice reaffirms
Alitalia’s important and strategic role as an infrastructural asset in Italy’s
development and its commitment to travel and tourism.
“Alitalia and Expo 2015 share
the same values and vision: the pursuit of excellence, style and elegance
typical of the “Made in Italy” brand. We
are also committed to showcasing Italy’s renowned cuisine, design, fashion and
“With our partner Etihad
Airways, we look forward to offering visitors from around the globe convenient
and comfortable flights to what will be the event of 2015.”
James Hogan, President and
Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Italy is a strategic market for Etihad
Airways and teaming up with Alitalia as an Official Global Airline Carrier for
Expo 2015 is a natural extension of our existing codeshare agreement.
“Italian style is embedded in
many things at Etihad Airways. From working with leading fashion designer Ettore
Bilotta for our crew uniforms, to a luxury furniture maker Poltrona Frau in our
lounges and First and Business Class cabins, to hiring top Italian on board chefs,
what we bring to Expo 2015 is Italian inspired knowledge and a commitment to
looking after our guests.
“Through our vast
international route network, Etihad Airways will play a leading role in
promoting Expo 2015 to a global audience, focussing on key markets across the
Gulf region, Australia, Asia, and the Subcontinent.
“In the coming months Etihad
Airways and Alitalia will unveil an iconic Expo 2015 pavilion, and we look
forward to welcoming guests from all over the world through its doors from 1 May
Giuseppe Sala, CEO of Expo
2015 Company, said: “We are pleased with having Alitalia and Etihad Airways as
partners of Expo Milano 2015. We want 20 million people to visit the Exhibition
site: we expect 8 million coming from abroad. We know that a worldwide
operating asset is needed to support us in reaching this goal.
“The partnership with Alitalia
and Etihad Airways is in line with our target. From now on – even during the
six-month World Expo – all the initiatives will have a double value: on the one
hand they will be useful to promote the Event; on the other hand they will make
easier travelling to Milan and leaving from Milan. In this way they will also
contribute to give the best welcome to all people visiting Italy taking part in
In addition to the extensive range
of flights being offered, Alitalia and Etihad Airways will unveil a number of
business initiatives including all-inclusive packages and special fares targeted
at families, seniors, business travellers and young people, over the coming
support and promote the joint commercial activities, the two companies will also
implement an integrated marketing and communication plan across all available
channels including livery design, on board and ground announcements,
communication to loyalty program members, print and digital campaigns, and social