Another Codeshare: Italy’s ITA Signs Agreement With Etihad

ITA Airways, the new Italian flag carrier, isn’t wasting any time in expanding its list of partnerships. Despite having been active for less than two months, it has signed several codeshare agreements with leading carriers, as well as joining the SkyTeam alliance. The latest of these deals has seen it join forces with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways.

ITA A320 born in 2021
The codeshare will be present on both short and long-haul services. Photo: Getty Images

A new commercial partnership

Just shy of two months after commencing operations, ITA Airways has announced that it has established a codeshare agreement with UAE flag carrier Etihad Airways. ITA took over from Alitalia as Italy’s national airline in October, and has made several deals like this.

The agreement will allow for greater connectivity between the two carriers’ networks. It also aims to foster increased traffic levels between the two counties involved. Going forward, ITA and Etihad hope to further increase their cooperation for the benefit of customers at both airlines. In a press release pertaining to the deal, Etihad Airways explained that:

This new commercial partnership is designed to boost business travel and tourism between Italy and the United Arab Emirates, and will offer travellers more options and better connectivity when travelling through Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa and Abu Dhabi.”

Etihad Airways Boeing 777-300ER
Etihad Airways flies to two Italian destinations at present. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

What flights will it apply to?

Aiming to galvanize higher traffic levels on the corridor between Italy and the UAE, Etihad’s routes to Italy will be a key feature of the codeshare agreement. Having previously served Venice, it currently flies to Milan Malpensa and Rome Fiumicino from its Abu Dhabi hub. Etihad explains that “ITA Airways will apply its ‘AZ’ code on services operated by Etihad between Italy and the United Arab Emirates” from December 14th, with tickets on sale now.

In terms of ITA flights that Etihad will codeshare on, the majority of these will be domestic. Specifically, the internal flights in question where the partnership will be present will originate in Rome and serve Bari, Brindisi, Catania, Genova, and Palermo.

The only exception in terms of being an international destination is Malta. Etihad doesn’t fly there directly, and so the codeshare with ITA offers useful connecting opportunities.

ITA Airways A320
ITA has been quick to form codeshares after commencing operations in October. Photo: Getty Images

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One of several agreements for ITA

As it happens, this deal is far from the first codeshare that ITA has established during its short history. Indeed, the new flag carrier also has another codeshare on its Malta-bound flights, with none other than Maltese flag carrier Air Malta. Elsewhere in Europe, it also entered such an agreement with Dutch national airline KLM earlier this month.

Looking further afield, last month also saw ITA and Delta Air Lines apply for codeshare authorizations. With both operators being Skyteam members, and ITA’s predecessor Alitalia also having had such an arrangement with Delta, this looks to be a logical progression.

What do you make of this new codeshare agreement? Have you flown with ITA Airways yet? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!