ITA Airways And Emirates Sign Agreement To Expand To Full Codeshare Partnership

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Summary

  • Emirates and ITA Airways signed a MoU for a new codeshare agreement, expanding connections between Dubai and European destinations like Italy.
  • Passengers can enjoy enhanced benefits with reciprocal loyalty programs in the future through the partnership between Emirates and ITA Airways.
  • While Emirates’ new codeshare could be its 30th, ITA Airways looks to expand its international reach, including to Australia and other parts of Asia.

Emirates and ITA signed a memorandum of understanding today to begin a codeshare partnership between the two carriers. The codeshare is set to become the 30th for Emirates and the 35th for ITA Airways.

In a statement, Emirates says that the MoU will begin the establishment of a strengthened partnership between the airlines, allowing greater connections between its hub at Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Europe. The new partnership opened up codeshare flights to Italian destinations, including Florence (FLR), Genoa (GOA), Palermo (PMO), and Trieste (TRS), among others across Europe not served by Emirates.

For any passengers looking to enjoy the codeshare agreement, Emirates has flown to destinations in Italy since 1997, operating 41 weekly flights to four destinations. For its services to Italy, Emirates uses the A380 to Rome Fiumicino (FCO), with the 777-300ER operating services to Bologna (BLQ), Milan (MXP), and Venice (VCE).

ITA Airways A350 on display

Photo: Andrew Crider | Simple Flying

Meanwhile, the ITA Airways fleet includes both A220 and A320 family aircraft, along with widebodies consisting of A330s and A350XWBs. The MoU also seeks to establish extending reciprocal loyalty benefits on both airlines’ frequent flyer programs at a later stage, according to a statement from the airlines.

“This MoU further enhances ITA Airways’ commercial strategy of growth and opens up a privileged access route to all passengers who will benefit from the connectivity via Rome Fiumicino and Dubai,” Antonino Turicchi, Chairman of ITA Airways, said in a statement.

For ITA Airways, the partnership will expand international destinations, including service to Australia and other destinations in Asia not already served by the airline. ITA itself was already able to connect its passengers down under through a codeshare agreement with the United Arab Emirates’ other flag carrier, Etihad. Both Etihad and Emirates serve Sydney (SYD), Melbourne (MEL), and Brisbane (BNE), while Emirates adds Perth (PER), with service to Adelaide (ADL) resuming in October.

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For perspective, when comparing ITA Airways’ codeshare with Etihad, which was announced in 2021, and Emirates’ new codeshare announced today, The flight between FCO and DXB is advertised to take 25 minutes less time for Emirates onboard the A380, as opposed to FCO-Abu Dhabi Zayed International Airport (AUH) onboard the 777-300ER and 787-9 Etihad uses for that route. The FCO-DXB flight is 2348 nautical miles, whereas the flight to AUH is 2346 nautical miles direct.

While this MOU could begin Emirates’ 30th codeshare agreement, this would be the third codeshare for Europe. This is in comparison to other Middle Eastern carriers like Qatar Airways, which operates as many as eight daily passenger flights to London Heathrow (LHR). Qatar has partnerships with nine European airlines, as well as railway networks. Etihad, for its part, has codeshare agreements with five Europe-based airlines.

The MoU is currently pending government approval. However, both the UAE and the Italian governments maintain ownership of Emirates and ITA Airways, respectively.

For its part, Skyteam member ITA Airways was launched in 2020 after multiple failed attempts to save the former Italian flag carrier Alitalia from bankruptcy. ITA Airways inherited much from Alitalia, including most of its fleet. For a period of time, the UAE-flag carrier Etihad Airways was a major investor in Alitalia between 2015 and 2017 before the Italian government took ownership of Alitalia. Currently, German flag carrier Lufthansa is in dispute with the European Union regarding purchasing the airline.



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