On Thursday, Italian flag-carrier Alitalia announced that it would resume services to São Paulo in Brazil and Buenos Aires in Argentina from mid-December. The airline will operate weekly flights from Rome with one of its 777-200ERs supporting cargo demand.
While Italy is living through a new round of extensive lockdowns, its downsized national airline is gearing up to add two South American destinations back to its network. Airways Magazine reports that by mid-December, Alitalia is reinstating the first non-stop services in nine months from Italy to Brazil and Argentina.
Fiumicino to São Paulo codeshare with GOL
Starting December 15th, Alitalia will resume services from Rome’s Fiumicino (FCO) to São Paulo/Guarulhos – Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport (GRU) in Brazil. Brazilian carrier GOL will codeshare on the route. Flights will depart weekly, leaving FCO at 22:05 and arriving in GRU at 06:25 the following day. The return will depart at 16:05 the same day and land back in Rome at 07:15 local time the next morning.
GOL will itself not resume international flights until March 2021. However, with the codeshare agreement with Alitalia in place, travelers can carry on with GOL to another 39 Brazilian destinations, including Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia.
Buenos Aires and onwards connections with Aerolineas Argentinas
On December 19th, Alitalia will also once more operate a weekly service to Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport (EZE). Flights will leave FCO at 21:50 with an estimated time of arrival in the Argentinian capital of 08:00. In the opposite direction, flights will take off from EZE at 14:05 and arriving back in Italy at 07:00 the following day.
The Buenos Aires flights will operate with the commercial support of Aerolineas Argentinas, providing connections to a further 33 Argentinian domestic destinations, among them Cordoba and Mendoza.
The airline will operate both routes with one of its remaining Boeing 777-200ERs. Alitalia still has 11 of the jet in its fleet, three of which are currently listed as active.
The flights are the first scheduled non-stop services in nine months between Italy and the two South American countries. Their resumption is supported by cargo demand, and with the 777-200’s load capacity of 20 tons in its belly, it is an aircraft well-suited for the job.
More long-haul cargo-driven routes to be expected from the “new” Alitalia
Along with Alitalia’s Rome to New York JFK route, the resumption of São Paulo and Buenos Aires means the airline will serve three intercontinental destinations. However, with the transition to the “new” Alitalia, they will not remain the only ones for long.
The new carrier is thought to be taking advantage of a newfound cargo business which has sprung up in the wake of the crisis. Its forthcoming routes are expected to be driven much by demand for passenger jet belly space. The new airline’s objective is reportedly to focus on profitable long-haul routes to Asia and the Americas.
Have you traveled transatlantically since the beginning of the crisis? What was your experience? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.