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Forging Partnerships: ITA Signs 1st Codeshare Agreement With KLM

Italy’s new flag carrier, ITA, has signed its first codeshare agreement with KLM. The deal will allow the airline to leverage each other’s networks in northern and southern Europe, boosting travel options. Both airlines are members of the SkyTeam alliance, making this partnership easier and more beneficial.

ITA has been growing its passenger count and destinations since its launch in October. Photo: Getty Images

Connecting the continent

In a statement today, ITA Airways announced its newest codeshare partner, KLM. The newly minted flag carrier will partner with the world’s oldest airline to offer better connectivity between Northern and Southern Europe, offering its passengers more efficient routings.

The partnership came into effect on 1st December, providing easier transfers at Rome Fiumicino Airport as well. KLM will benefit from access to ITA’s sprawling domestic network and stronger ties in southern Europe. Meanwhile, ITA will get better access to the Netherlands and cities in major countries like the UK, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark, adding a greater presence in the region.

KLM Embraer 175
KLM passengers will have access to regional airports like Trieste as part of the deal. Photo: Tom Boon | Simple Flying

In particular, KLM passengers can now book flights to Rome and transfer to Palermo, Reggio Calabria, Brindisi, Bari, Lamezia Terme, and Trieste on the domestic front. Additionally, passengers will also have more options to fly to Malta and Tirana in Albania through ITA’s hub in Fiumicino.

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Quick deal

It’s been less than two months since ITA made its first flight, and already the carrier is on a codeshare spree. The airline has already signed an agreement with Air Malta, TAP Air Portugal, Air Serbia, and applied for one with Delta Air Lines, among others.

Now, KLM joins this list, with President and CEO Peter Elbiers saying,

“It’s really good news that KLM and ITA Airways have been able to reach an agreement so quickly after the loss of Alitalia, enabling them to work together on European routes. Italy is an important market for the airline industry in Europe, both for business and leisure travellers.”

ITA Airbus A320 Getty
While ITA might have been in ‘Born in 2021’, it has near a century of history behind it. Photo: Getty Images

ITA plans to grow its total codeshares from 19 to 30 by the end of 2021, a goal that doesn’t look unachievable now. Notably, many of the signed codeshares already existed under the previous Alitalia brand and have likely been renegotiated in the last few weeks. However, a new airline means a fresh start, and ITA is seeking out partners early.

New planes

To support its expansion, ITA firmed up a massive order for 28 new Airbus aircraft on Wednesday. The order will see the arrival of seven A220s, 11 A320s, and 10 A330neos, along with leases for some A350-900s. The former will be a new entrant to the fleet, allowing Alitalia to expand in the regional European market in the coming years.

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Meanwhile, the A350 and A330neo will eventually replace the aging A330 fleet and the retired Boeing 777s. This will allow ITA to operate one of the most efficient long-haul fleets in the world, an essential factor for profitability. For now, keep an eye out for the new Italian flag carrier.

What do you think about Alitalia’s new codeshare? Let us know in the comments!

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