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24 Nov 2014 05:30

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and Alitalia, Italy’s leading carrier, will offer enhanced connections between Abu Dhabi and three of Italy’s biggest cities next year, with combined double-daily flights to Milan and Rome, and a new daily service to Venice. 

  • Airlines will offer a combined 35 flights per week between Italy and Abu Dhabi.
  • Alitalia to triple service frequency between Italy and Abu Dhabi in March 2015 with new daily services from Milan and Venice, with Etihad Airways codesharing on both routes.
  • Next stage of codeshare expansion will include 15 of Alitalia’s domestic routes from Rome Fiumicino Airport, offering travellers even more choice and convenience from next year.

The two airlines signed a major codeshare expansion this week, which subject to government approval, will result in Etihad Airways placing its ‘EY’ code on Alitalia’s new daily service between Venice and Abu Dhabi. The flights launch on 29 March 2015 using an Airbus A330-200 aircraft with 20 Business Class seats, 17 Economy Plus Class seats, and 213 Economy Class seats.

In addition, the ‘EY’ code will be placed on Alitalia’s upcoming daily service between Abu Dhabi and the global fashion capital Milan, which also launches on 29 March 2015, and will be operated using a Boeing 777 aircraft with 30 seats in Business Class, 24 seats in Economy Plus Class, and 239 seats in Economy Class. The flights will combine with Etihad Airways’ popular daily service between the two cities to provide travellers with a convenient double-daily frequency.

Both airlines already codeshare on each other’s daily services between Abu Dhabi and Rome, and subject to government approval, Etihad Airways will codeshare on 15 of Alitalia’s domestic routes from Rome Fiumicino Airport next year, offering extensive access to and from the country.

The codeshare agreement was expanded a week after Etihad Airways and Alitalia received merger clearance from the European Commission for a proposed strategic partnership, under which Etihad Airways will acquire a 49 per cent stake in the Italian national carrier.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Our codeshare agreement with Alitalia was initiated over four years ago, and the partnership has developed into a resounding commercial success. Importantly, we are also providing business and leisure travellers with enhanced, and soon to be unmatched, depth and breadth into and out of Italy.

“We are delighted to build on this success with the inclusion of Alitalia’s daily flights from Milan to Abu Dhabi, which complements Etihad Airways’ own daily service between the two cities. In addition, by codesharing on Alitalia’s new Venice service, we will offer access to one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations for the first time, with strong demand expected not only from the GCC region, including the UAE, but also Asian markets such as China, Japan and Korea.”

The codeshare flights can be booked from 28 November 2014 on etihad.com, through Etihad Airways’ contact centres, or via travel agents, for travel on 29 March 2015 onwards.

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