Oh my, Air Italy sure is expanding quickly!
Qatar Airways recently acquired a 49% stake in Air Italy, which was formerly known as Meridiana. This seems to be Qatar Airways’ attempt at putting Alitalia out of business (though I doubt that will ever happen).
Qatar Airways has big expansion plans for Air Italy. To start Qatar Airways leased them some A330s, but soon the airline will be getting 787s from Qatar Airways as well, to further fuel their expansion.
Presently Air Italy’s US destinations include New York and Miami.
Now the airline has announced a sixth North American destination.
Air Italy has just announced that they’ll be launching flights between Milan and Chicago as of 2019.
This complements Air Italy’s other longhaul routes, to Bangkok, Delhi, and Mumbai, which creates quite a connecting network.
Air Italy’s new Milan to Chicago route
Air Italy will launch 3x weekly nonstop flights between Milan and Chicago as of May 14, 2019. The route will operate with the following schedule on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, using Airbus A330-200s:
IG913 Milan to Chicago departing 1:10PM arriving 4:25PM
IG914 Chicago to Milan departing 6:25PM arriving 10:35AM (+1 day)
The flight will cover a distance of 4,523 miles in each direction, and is blocked at 10hr15min westbound and 9hr10min eastbound.
Air Italy will be the only airline to fly nonstop between Chicago and Milan (just as they’ll be the only airline to fly nonstop from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Milan). That’s a win for consumers.
As Air Italy continues to expand, you can bet that the US airlines will continue to try to take them down. The lobbying group for American, Delta, and United, claims that these new routes disrespect President Trump.
Air Italy has an excellent onboard product
I recently reviewed Air Italy’s business class product based on my flight with them from New York to Milan. The hard product isn’t great, as they have slightly angled seats (though the angle is almost not noticeable).
However, the service, food, drinks, and amenities, were all top notch. I’d fly them again in a heartbeat, especially if traveling with a companion (due to the configuration).
Redeeming miles on Air Italy
The best way to redeem miles on Air Italy is to book through British Airways Executive Club. British Airways shows Air Italy award space online, and the pricing for this route should be as follows:
- 25,000 Avios one-way in economy class
- 75,000 Avios one-way in business class
The catch is that the carrier imposed surcharges for Air Italy redemptions recently increased significantly, so you can expect to pay significantly more fees for travel originating in North America than for travel originating in Europe.
I knew Air Italy was going to expand, though I didn’t realize that they’d add four North American routes in a matter of weeks.
This expansion is really exciting for consumers. I expect we’ll see tempting fares, and this is also a great way to earn and redeem miles, especially British Airways Avios.
What do you make of Air Italy’s new flight to Chicago?