The FINANCIAL — Alitalia on November 29 strengthened its position in the air travel market between Italy and Latin America with the launch today of flights to Cuba.
Out of respect for the national mourning decreed in Cuba, the Italian Company chose not to perform the usual opening ceremony for the new route.
The capital city Havana joins new services this year from Rome to Santiago and Mexico City and the airline also operates to Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, according to Alitalia.
Alitalia’s new direct flights will depart from Rome Fiumicino airport every Tuesday at 10.35 am and every Saturday at 2.35 pm for Cuba. The return service from Havana on Tuesdays will take off at 6.30 pm local time and on Saturdays at 10.30 pm. The flight times of the new route are scheduled to allow Alitalia’s customers from 55 cities in Italy, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa to connect easily at Alitalia’s Rome Fiumicino hub.
Cramer Ball, Alitalia Chief Executive Officer, said: “The new service is another step forward in our strategy to build our long-haul network and it promises to be a very attractive route as not only is Havana a vibrant tourist attractions but one that is of growing interest to the Italian business community. The Cuban city is our fourth new long haul destinations this year and I am confident that we will add to our long-haul network next year. The Havana service also gives us a great opportunity to develop our important partnership with MSC Crociere which has chosen Alitalia as a leading air carrier for its cruise customers heading to explore the Caribbean.”
The service is operated by Alitalia’s flagship long-haul 293-seat Boeing 777 configured in three travel classes – business, premium economy and economy – which feature newly renovated interiors reflecting Italian elegance and style.
The Italian airline operates 31 weekly flights to six Latin American destinations: Havana (2 weekly flights), Mexico City (3 flights), Santiago (5 flights), Buenos Aires (7 flights), Sao Paulo (7 flights) and Rio de Janeiro (7 flights). Together with 33 weekly flights to three North American destinations New York, Miami and Boston Alitalia will this winter connect Italy to a total of nine destinations in the Americas with 64 flights per week.
Tickets for the new Rome-Havana service can be bought online at alitalia.com, by calling the Alitalia Customer Centre on 89.20.10 (from Italy) or + 39.06.65649 (from overseas), at travel agencies and at airport ticket offices. Members of Alitalia’s MilleMiglia loyalty programme can earn and redeem miles on the new service, and if they travel on or before 29 January, 2017 they will receive an extra bonus of up to 5,000 miles.