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, though their number of US destinations will soon double.
Air Italy has just announced that they’ll be launching flights between Milan and both Los Angeles and San Francisco 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 Los Angeles route
Air Italy will launch 4x weekly nonstop flights between Milan and Los Angeles as of April 3, 2019. The route will operate with the following schedule on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, using Airbus A330s:
IG943 Milan to Los Angeles departing 1:00PM arriving 4:50PM
IG944 Los Angeles to Milan departing 6:50PM arriving 3:55PM (+1 day)
The flight will cover a distance of 6,044 miles in each direction, and is blocked at 12hr50min westbound and 12hr5min eastbound.
Air Italy’s new Milan to San Francisco route
Air Italy will launch 4x weekly nonstop flights between Milan and San Francisco as of April 10, 2019. The route will operate with the following schedule on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, using Airbus A330s:
IG937 Milan to San Francisco departing 1:35PM arriving 5:10PM
IG938 San Francisco to Milan departing 7:10PM arriving 4:05PM (+1 day)
The flight will cover a distance of 5,951 miles in each direction, and is blocked at 12hr35min westbound and 11hr55min eastbound.
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 these new routes should be as follows:
- 30,000 Avios one-way in economy class
- 90,000 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 the US than travel originating in Europe.
Note that this flight literally just became bookable, and I’m having issues pulling up Air Italy award space on ba.com. I imagine this will solve itself shortly.
US airlines are going to take serious issue with this
US airlines love to complain about the Gulf carriers. They’ve even been arguing that Qatar Airways is using Air Italy to create fifth freedom routes in a roundabout way (a sentiment I disagree with).
They’ve taken issues with Air Italy’s flights to New York and Miami, and you can bet they’re going to be complaining big time about these new routes.
Of course these new routes are great for consumers. These are nonstop routes that weren’t previously operated by any airlines, so I’m very excited about this.
Several US senators just signed a letter regarding Air Italy, so the politics surrounding this route should get interesting.
While I’m a huge fan of Air Italy’s expansion in general, I especially love these routes. New York to Milan and Miami to Milan were routes that other airlines flew as well, though in this case Air Italy is offering nonstop service in a market for the first time in a long time, and that’s great.
Anyone plan on flying Air Italy between California and Milan?