18 APRIL 2016

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Article from BTNews 18 APRIL 2016

Alitalia codeshare growth

In a key agreement benefitting European and Mid East travellers heading Down Under, Alitalia has signed a new codeshare deal with Virgin Australia.

The pact, which came in on Friday, involves Alitalia placing its AZ flight codes on routes from Abu Dhabi to Sydney and on to Brisbane, while Virgin Australia will codeshare on Alitalia routes from Abu Dhabi to Rome and Milan Malpensa.

The agreement is also a boost for Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad Airways, which has extended its alliance with the Virgin airline on routes from Abu Dhabi. Etihad has a 49% stake in Alitalia and owns 25.1% of Virgin Australia.

Alitalia chief strategy and planning officer John Shepley said: “There are about a million people in Australia with Italian heritage so we’re hoping the new agreement will encourage more air travellers between the two countries.

“I can see more Australians visiting Italy thanks to the deal, with the connection times at Abu Dhabi working well for passengers from Australia to here.” 

Shepley said new benefits for members of both carriers’ loyalty programmes would also be an added incentive for travel.  www.alitalia.com   www.etihad.com

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