Alitalia returns to China and announces the new Milan-Shanghai route.

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Chairman of Alitalia, Luca di Montezemolo, and the Chief Executive Officer, Silvano Cassano, today introduced the new intercontinental non-stop service Milano Malpensa – Shanghai, which marks the return of the Company in China and a further stage in the development of Malpensa airport’s intercontinental connections.

Shanghai is the first city of the Republic of China in terms of population, and it is considered the economic capital of the country.

The flight, launched with the inauguration of Expo Milano 2015, represents another major investment of Alitalia in Milan, following the introduction of the direct flight to Abu Dhabi last March 29.

With these new connections, Alitalia further strengthens its range of intercontinental routes departing from Milan and from the North of Italy.

In addition to the new flights to Shanghai and the daily flights to Abu Dhabi, Alitalia has also strengthened its connections on the Milan – Tokyo route, which are now daily as daily are the flights to New York’s JFK airport.

Today Alitalia has become the leading airline out of Malpensa by number of intercontinental destinations and, over the next three years, the Company aims to increase by 130% the number of passengers on intercontinental flights departing or arriving at Milan Malpensa airport.

To promote incoming tourism from Shanghai, Alitalia is working with Italy’s local representatives: the Italian Consulate, ICE (the Italian Trade Promotion Agency) and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in China, cooperating to promote Italy and Expo Milano 2015.

Alitalia is offering 39,000 seats to Shanghai, for the six-month duration of Expo. Thanks to agreements signed with some of the major Chinese tour operators, Alitalia has already sold about 31,000 tickets, representing 80% of the total seats availability.

Luca di Montezemolo, Chairman of Alitalia, said:

“Today we celebrate the return of Alitalia in China with direct flights and we do it by connecting the economic capitals of the two countries. This is a remarkable return for Alitalia, which today starts to increase again its presence in the Far East. This flight represents a major investment to support Italian exports to China and to facilitate the arrival of tourists and visitors to Milan which, in the last four days, has taken on the role of a global showcase thanks to Expo Milano 2015”.

Silvano Cassano, Alitalia’s CEO, said:

“The Milan-Shanghai route is the third long-haul service we have launched in just over a month. Alitalia continues to focus on the development of intercontinental routes, in particular to the Far East, the area of the world with the highest growth rates and where Alitalia intends to further invest. Within this year the connections with Seoul and Beijing will be launched and, together with the presentation of the new brand and aircraft’s configuration, this represents the most concrete evidence of the ambitions of Alitalia’s relaunch plan”.

Overall, Alitalia offers a total of 48 intercontinental flights a week to and from Malpensa airport.

From Milan Malpensa the new Alitalia flight to Shanghai departs every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. From Shanghai’s Pudong airport the Alitalia flights depart every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. The flight is operated with 250-seat Airbus A330 aircraft, configured in 3 classes of service: Magnifica (business class), Classica Plus (premium economy) and Classica (economy).

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