ITA Airways entered the Indian market in December 2022 with direct flights between Rome Hub and Delhi. Fabio Bigotti, Country Manager India, ITA Airways, shares how the airline is expanding its footprint in India market and is well-suited to cater to the needs of Indian passengers, providing onwards connections from Rome to various European destinations.
ITA Airways, with its entry in India in December 2022, is giving Indian consumers a broad choice of destinations throughout Italy, Europe, North and South America. The Italian flag carrier has started direct flights between Rome Hub and Delhi. Fabio Bigotti, Country Manager India, ITA Airways, says, “ITA Airways deploys an Airbus A330-200 aircraft on the Delhi route offering three classes of service (Economy Class, Premium Economy Class, Business Class). Currently, we are operating flights four times a week, with a capacity increase to five flights August onwards. ITA Airways will be adding new routes Rome-Washington (2 June onwards), Rome-San Francisco (1 July onwards), Rome-Rio de Janeiro (29 October onwards), which will provide more option with seamless connection to our Indian customers. Furthermore, thanks to AccesRail you can now purchase your plane and train journeys in a combined ticket and travel to a larger number of cities, moving effortlessly from train to plane and back again.”
Calling India the most interesting destinations in their network for the transport of passengers and cargo, Bigotti claims, “With the direct connection between India and Italy, ITA Airways is also further contributing to the cultural integration and development of the economic relationship between the two countries. Moreover, ITA Airways is pleased to provide India originating passengers a great network with convenient connections to Italy, Europe, South and North America. I believe that passengers originating from Delhi appreciate the fact that ITA Airways is the only carrier to directly connect Delhi with Rome, which also enables them to comfortably travel to Italy but also to all of Europe, the Mediterranean, South and North America, thanks to the convenient connections offered by ITA Airways’ Rome Fiumicino hub.”
Expectations & plans
In fact, he shares that the Asia Pacific region in general has a great potential for them. “We want to strengthen our position in India. We are gradually increasing our frequencies and at the same time consider new destinations. We see significant potential for growth in India, being one of the most important international markets for ITA Airways, and we remain committed to this market. We currently connect Rome to New Delhi with four weekly frequencies, and operations will progressively increase during the summer season, reaching 5 weekly frequencies in the month of August,” he informs.
For boosting the business, they are reaching out to both consumer and the trade. “India is a growing market, and we are quite focused on both B2B and B2C segments in India. Being the flag carrier of Italy, where we have number of offers for our customers travelling for leisure, we also have best suited corporate programmes for our SME/Corporates. VOLARE, our loyalty program, is designed to meet customer’s needs. The collected points can be spent to obtain advantages and benefits. Our ongoing marketing initiatives are helping in our brand awareness which will also help us to boost our business in India,” he adds. He further says, “In India we have an interline agreement with Vistara, which helps us getting the feeder traffic from major cities in India. We are also working to finalise some codeshare opportunities to collaborate with Indian carriers.”
Bigotti says that they have seen a strong booking patt ern and flow post-COVID from all segments of travellers. “The market has picked up well and people want to travel now to Italy and our network destinations for leisure and business. We are seeing a very positive growth in load factors from India market and the average price is increased compared to Pre-COVID period,” he adds.
Claiming that they are working closely with the travel trade, Bigotti informs, “We are offering them all support to promote ITA Airways to their customers, thanks to the effective ITA Airways local team. We are regularly updating travel agents with ITA Airways new fares, procedures and product news. We provide our partners tactical initiatives and strategic offers for their customers. We also work closely with all travel trade association and partner with them in their initiatives.”
What’s on board?
He informed that starting mid-April, the cabin crew on all ITA Airways flights and ground crew are wearing the new uniforms by Brunello Cucinelli. “The company has also opened the new Hangar Lounge at Rome Fiumicino airport, which will be the fourth lounge,” he says.