ITA Airways, the Italian flagship carrier, has announced the launch of its nonstop service between San Francisco and Rome.
The inaugural flight, AZ 641, departed from San Francisco International Airport on July 1 at 3:15 p.m. The flight, operated by ITA Airways’ flagship aircraft, the Airbus A350, marks an important milestone in the airline’s expansion plans.
To commemorate the launch of this new intercontinental route connecting North America and Italy, a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the departure gate in San Francisco. Key executives and officials from ITA Airways, including Emiliana Limosani (Chief Commercial Officer), Pierfrancesco Carino (CEO of Volare), and Massimo Allegri (Regional Manager Americas), were present alongside Kevin Bumen (Chief Financial and Commercial Officer) from San Francisco International Airport and Sergio Strozzi (Consul General of Italy in San Francisco).
Emiliana Limosani, Chief Commercial Officer of ITA Airways and CEO of Volare, expressed the significance of the new connection to San Francisco in expanding the airline’s intercontinental network. She emphasized that with this new destination, ITA Airways solidifies its expansion into the U.S. market, which is the airline’s primary international market. The multiple services offered from Rome Fiumicino hub, connecting major cities such as New York, Boston, Washington, Miami, Los Angeles, and now San Francisco, position ITA Airways as the preferred carrier for travelers from the United States to Italy and beyond, serving both the Italian community and international business communities.
The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) – Rome Fiumicino (FCO) route will operate from July 1 to July 30, 2023, with three weekly frequencies departing every Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3:15 p.m. The return flights from Rome Fiumicino will depart at 9:35 a.m. and arrive in San Francisco International Airport at 1:15 p.m. local time. During the peak of the summer season, from August 2 to September 30, the route will be operated with five weekly roundtrip flights every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In October, operations will be on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
San Francisco is a highly sought-after destination for both leisure and business travel. By introducing this new North American route, ITA Airways meets the high demand and expectations of its customers. The direct flight between San Francisco and Rome has garnered positive responses, indicating a promising performance for the first month of operations in July.
In conjunction with the launch of the nonstop flight, ITA Airways has initiated a dedicated social communication campaign. The campaign engages travelers by answering their most frequently asked questions about Rome and San Francisco. Local influencers from both cities, including Francesco Panella, Max Mariola, Giulia Latini, Alex Di Giorgio, Matteo Acitelli, Geloy Conception, Violet Witchel, and Kara Harms, provide expert tips and recommendations.
This year, ITA Airways is making significant investments in the intercontinental market. In addition to the San Francisco route, the airline has already launched direct flights from Rome Fiumicino to Washington and has plans to launch a route to Rio de Janeiro in October. Expanding on long-haul routes is a key pillar of ITA Airways’ strategy as it aims to increase profitability and optimize performance across its medium and short-haul flights.
The United States holds strategic importance for ITA Airways, being the largest international market after Italy and home to a significant number of citizens of Italian origins. Direct flights between North America and Italy not only facilitate leisure and business travel but also strengthen the bonds within the broader Italian community in the U.S.
With direct flights connecting Rome Fiumicino to major U.S. cities such as New York, Boston, Washington, Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, as well as Milan Malpensa to New York, ITA Airways aims to become the preferred carrier for travelers between North America and Italy. Through its hub in Rome, the airline provides seamless connectivity to the rest of Europe and the Mediterranean. During the peak summer season, ITA Airways will operate 122 weekly roundtrip flights between North America and Italy.
In addition to the new long-haul routes, ITA Airways has introduced a new business class menu on all intercontinental flights departing from Italy. The menu, created by Chefs Alfonso and Ernesto Iaccarino from the renowned 2-Michelin starred Don Alfonso 1890 Restaurant, reflects a culinary philosophy rooted in the centuries-old food culture and traditions of the Sorrento Peninsula and the Amalfi Coast. With this new menu, ITA Airways celebrates Italian cuisine and honors the Mediterranean food heritage, offering a delightful dining experience to its passengers.