Saturday . January 19 . 2019
         
 
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Indian cities on the radar as Air Italy grows Asia network
Rohit Kaul
 

New Delhi has become the second Asian city after Bangkok in Air Italy's network, with Mumbai soon to follow as the airline plans further expansion to better connect India and North America via Milan.

 
The new Italian airline commenced a thrice-weekly New Delhi-Milan service last week, continuing its foray into Asia that kicked off with a five-times-weekly flights between Bangkok and Milan in October. On December 14, it will start plying the Mumbai-Milan route three times a week.
 
 
Air Italy has also entered a codeshare agreement with Air Vistara, which will help expand its reach to other markets within India.
 
Apart from focusing on point-to-point connectivity, the airline is expecting Asian markets like India to generate healthy demand for its new North American routes including New York and Miami, where it commenced operations earlier this year.
 
“We promote Italy as a destination. However, we are also offering customers connectivity to New York and Miami through our hub in Milan. Whenever a airline provides hub connectivity the demand increases significantly. Though there are other airlines like Air India that are offering point-to-point connectivity between India and Italy, we are the only option for travellers that are looking at onward connections to North America,” said Rossen Dimitrov, COO, Air Italy.
 
On its strategy to expand its North American network, he shared that the airline will be launching new destinations in the US including San Francisco and Los Angeles in April 2019. Air Italy also plans to launch a new service to Toronto in summer 2019.
 
He added that Air Italy is also planning to enhance its connectivity to Asia, without disclosing the destinations the airline is looking at.
 
“For us Asia is a priority market and there are some other destinations in the continent on our radar. We are presently evaluating those markets. We will make announcement in this regard at the right time."
 
The carrier is enhancing its longhaul fleet with the Airbus A330-200 aircraft. The airline's fleet size is expected to increase from the current 15 to over 50 by 2022, with new Boeing 737 Max aircraft part of the mix.
 
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