By Charlotte Seet
A New Partnership: Delta Air Lines and ITA Airways
Having made its debut on Oct. 15, ITA Airways has been making significant progress in the last couple of months of this year — from becoming a member of IATA and SkyTeam while introducing its first aircraft in its own new livery.
With a total of 52 aircraft under its name, the newly rebranded national carrier has bigger ambitions to not only grow and remodel its fleet with new-generation aircraft but also to offer more connections from Italy to the rest of the world, with talks of possible codeshare agreements in the works with known international carriers such as Qantas.
Even as talks have been going on, one partner has been confirmed as following in the footsteps of its predecessor, Alitalia. ITA Airways said it has signed a reciprocal codeshare agreement with Delta Air Lines that will become effective as of Dec. 22, allowing both airlines to offer more ways to get between Italy and the U.S. in addition to further flights throughout the airlines’ broader networks.
ITA Airways’ code will be placed on a grand total of 92 Delta destinations which includes flights between Rome and Atlanta, Boston, Detroit and New York, as well as selected routes across Delta’s domestic network and flights to Canada and Mexico.
In a similar fashion, Delta Air Lines will have its code placed on 33 ITA Airways’ destinations including flights from New York, Washington D.C., Boston, Los Angeles and Miami to Rome and a further 16 onward connections within Italy. The agreement also extends to passengers flying beyond Italy towards destinations such as Albania, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Malta, and Tunisia.
Although the agreement is reciprocal, but not every route mentioned will be available under the agreement as destinations such as Canada, Mexico, or Egypt are still subject to government approval. Nonetheless, this partnership will benefit massively in terms of choices with such an expansion of flight operations and will prove to be less of the usual connecting hassle as the codeshare will include single tickets paired with check-in bags to their final destination.
Besides the fact that Delta Air Lines had previously partnered with Alitalia, there were other factors playing into this codeshare partnership – one being that both airlines are part of the SkyTeam alliance, and also because Italy has always been a popular destination for both business and leisure passengers of Delta.
“Italy is a top destination for Delta customers, and this codeshare – achieved just two months after ITA Airways’ launch – expands our reach and makes it easier for our customers to get out into the world,” said Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s Senior Vice President of Alliances in a press release. “We are grateful to the authorities in the U.S. and Europe for granting the codeshare approvals and will look to further enhance customer benefits with ITA in the months and years ahead.”
Whilst there have been no schedules posted by either airline yet, but it seems highly likely that the schedules will include numerous daily flight services to Italian cities such as Milan, Rome, and Venice – which could also be a sign of just how big Delta Air Lines summer schedule for 2022 could possibly be.
And as for ITA Airways, partnering with a major U.S. carrier is just one of the many headstarts the newcomer needs to advance commercially in such a competitive market.
“Through this codeshare agreement with Delta, we will continue our commercial strategy to further grow our partnerships with the world’s best airlines,” said Emiliana Limosani, Chief Commercial Officer of ITA Airways in the same press release. “Thanks to Delta’s network from New York, we are able to offer a huge choice of onward destinations to our customers, while also welcoming American visitors to Italy via our base at Rome Fiumicino.”