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ITA Airways launches connections to Saudi Arabia

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ITA Airways inaugurates its first nonstop flight from Rome to Riyadh, marking a major expansion into the Saudi market, enhancing business and cultural ties, and planning further connections to the Middle East.

ROME – ITA Airways, the Italian national carrier, has launched its new connections with Saudi Arabia with the first nonstop flight operated between Rome Fiumicino and Riyadh. To celebrate the opening of this new intercontinental route, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at Terminal E of Leonardo da Vinci Airport in Fiumicino. The event was held in the presence of Tommaso Fumelli, VP Italy Sales ITA Airways, Pierfrancesco Carino, VP International Sales ITA Airways, Carlo Baldocci, Minister Plenipotentiary serving in the Directorate General for Political Affairs and Ambassador-designate in Riyadh, Sami Ibrahim Al Yahya, Head of Office of HRH the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Italy, Fabio Nicolai, Vice Director General ENAC; Raffaello Biselli, Councillor for Trade and Markets, Productive Activities and Suap, Municipality of Fiumicino, Susann Kern, Country Manager Italy Saudi Tourism Authority, and Federico Scriboni, Head of Aviation Business Development at Aeroporti di Roma.

Emiliana Limosani, Chief Commercial Officer ITA Airways and CEO of Volare, said: “We are proud to inaugurate today our first nonstop flight to Riyadh and Saudi Arabia, a growing and strategic market for ITA Airways especially for business traffic. This new Riyadh – Rome connection marks a significant milestone for our company and will intensify trade flows between the Arabian Peninsula and our Country. Our commitment to the Middle East region will continue with the introduction of new nonstop flights to Kuwait City and Jeddah in July and August, respectively.”

“Saudi Arabia is a rapidly expanding market, – said Federico Scriboni, Head of Aviation Business Development at Aeroporti di Roma – with around 200,000 passengers carried in 2023, Fiumicino quadrupled the traffic volumes of 2019, a growth trend confirmed in the first four months of 2024, increasing by 33% compared to the same period last year. The launch of ITA Airways’ new flight to Riyadh demonstrates the growing relevance of a market with excellent prospects for further development in both the leisure and business segments”.

“The introduction of direct connections from Rome to Riyadh in June and Jeddah in August is a crucial step in our mission to develop the tourism sector further and increase visitor numbers from Italy and beyond to Saudi. The new routes, fueled by our strong partnership with the national carrier ITA Airways, will significantly enhance accessibility and are expected to drive greater investments. This development will also strengthen the cultural and economic ties between Italy and Saudi,” stated Hazim Al-Hazmi, President of Europe & Americas at The Saudi Tourism Authority.

Delighted to welcome the new route from Riyadh to Rome, Ayman AboAbah, CEO of Riyadh Airports Company which is managing King Khalid International Airport said: “This is a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to expand our network and strengthen our connections with key global cities. We are excited to offer our passengers more travel options and look forward to welcoming travelers from Rome to discover the rich culture and hospitality of Riyadh. This new route is a testament to our commitment to providing worldclass service and enhancing the travel experience for our passengers” he concluded.

The new direct connection operates five weekly frequencies, departing Riyadh daily except Wednesdays and Sundays at 1:45 a.m. (local time) and arriving in Rome Fiumicino at 6:35 a.m. (local time) and departing Rome Fiumicino daily except Tuesdays and Saturdays at 3:25 p.m. (local time) with landing in Riyadh at 9:25 p.m. (local time).

The new route is operated with the technologically advanced Airbus A321neo. The A321neo is the first narrowbody aircraft configured with three separate classes: Business Class (12 seats), Premium Economy (12 seats) and Economy (141 seats, including 12 dedicated to Comfort Economy). Efficient and quiet, the new A321neo boasts more than 20% lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per seat, and a 50% reduction in noise impact compared to previous generation aircraft.

The A321neo features the new Airspace Cabin with new colors and materials, the latest-generation seats, ITA Airways’ custom interior lighting, and XL overhead bins. Each seat is equipped with the latest entertainment system, featuring “on-demand” video and audio, 17.3” (Business), 15.6” (Premium Economy) and 13.3” (Economy) low reflectivity and 4K resolution touchscreens for a simple, smooth and intuitive user experience.

The opening of the new Riyadh – Rome flight marks a significant milestone for the airline, establishing connections to the Arabian Peninsula. This market will soon see additional new flights, including Kuwait City – Rome Fiumicino (starting on July 1) and Jeddah – Rome Fiumicino (starting on August 1).

The further expansion of routes to Accra and Dakar will bring to 57 the total of destinations operated in 2024 Summer season, including 16 domestic, 26 international and 15 intercontinental. Additionally, during the summer peak, the airline will fly to 12 additional seasonal destinations, selected among the most popular Mediterranean tourism destinations, including Greece, Spain, Croatia and the Italian islands, reachable through nonstop flights from Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate.

The flights can be purchased on ITA Airways’ sales channels, via the official website the airline’s Customer Center, travel agencies and airport ticket offices.

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