Alitalia is poised for a return to two destinations in South America following a nine-month suspension due to the COVID-19 crisis.
From December 15, the flag carrier plans to resume services between Rome/Fiumicino and São Paulo/Guarulhos, followed four days later by a link to Buenos Aires/Ezeiza – also operated from the Italian capital.
The company’s 11-strong contingent of Boeing 777-200ERs are confirmed to operate both weekly rotations. The three-class, 293-seat widebody can also transport up to 20 tons in the belly hold, which – perhaps unsurprisingly – “guarantees greater opportunities for carrying goods between Europe and South America,” according to a statement released by the airline.
Of greater interest is that upon its return to Brazil, Alitalia will launch a codeshare partnership with local low-cost giant, GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes. Once passengers arrive in South America, conveniently timed connections will give them access to 39 destinations across Brazil – including Brasilia, Recife, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. Customers’ checked baggage will continue through to the final destination, while additionally they can continue to gain miles from Alitalia’s MilleMiglia loyalty programme while flying GOL. The latest codeshare deal complement’s Alitalia’s existing relationship with fellow Brazilian firm, Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras.
On the Buenos Aires connection, Alitalia customers are also set to take advantage of an existing codeshare agreement with national carrier, Aerolíneas Argentinas. Passengers can fly onward to 33 domestic cities – including Córdoba and Mendoza – along with five international destinations, such as Lima, Peru and Santiago, Chile.
These latest developments mark the second and third intercontinental destinations to be revived by the Rome-based, following New York/John F Kennedy.