Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) celebrated Alitalia’s inaugural flight Thursday between the U.S. National Capital Region and Rome Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino International Airport.
“Alitalia is a great addition to our roster of 33 international carriers at Dulles International Airport, offering 65 daily flights to nearly five dozen nonstop international destinations,” said Jerome L. Davis, executive vice president and chief revenue officer of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
There was a festive atmosphere at the gate, as passengers on the inaugural flight sipped Italian illy caffè at a pop-up coffee bar and snapped photos with iconic Italian landmarks at a photo booth. Alitalia’s chief business officer, Fabio Lazzerini, and Italy’s ambassador to the United States, Armando Varricchio, welcomed customers and recognized the importance of the new route’s service to connect the U.S. Capital Region to the Eternal City. In addition, a display at the gate recognized the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo Da Vinci, the namesake of Rome’s airport and the inventor of a flying machine.
“Starting today, Alitalia, the largest Italian airline, is thrilled to offer travelers in D.C., Maryland and Virginia nonstop service to Rome and unmatched connectivity to Italy’s top tourist and business destinations, including Florence, Bologna, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Venice and more,” said Fabio Maria Lazzerini, chief business officer for Alitalia. “We are excited to share our award-winning service and hospitality with all those coming onboard.”
Dulles International is Alitalia’s sixth passenger service gateway in the United States. Service details include:
Flight No. From To Departure/Arrival Days
AZ 619 IAD FCO 1615 / 0700+1 Mon., Thurs.,Fri., Sat., Sun.
AZ 618 FCO IAD 0930 / 1330 Mon., Thurs.,Fri., Sat., Sun.
“The inauguration of a nonstop flight operated by Alitalia between Rome and Washington, D.C., represents another positive development in growing bilateral relations between Italy and the U.S.,” said Armando Varricchio, ambassador of Italy to the United States. “On the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, Alitalia’s new route between the two capitals of these great countries, partnered with the many other daily connections between our two countries, gives more Americans the opportunity to admire Italy’s beauty, its history and traditions, and more Italians to learn about this great nation and the history of the United States.”
The new route is operated using an Airbus A330-200, carrying 249 passengers in a three-class configuration, with 19 in Magnifica Business Class, 17 in Premium Economy and 213 in Economy. Passengers across all three classes enjoy a sophisticated dining experience with award-winning menus featuring regional Italian cuisine and premium wines.
“Alitalia’s service to Rome is especially important to meet the needs of the business community and the Italian-American community, who have long expressed support for additional service throughout much of the year,” said Yil Surehan, vice president of Airline Business Development for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
Thursday’s Alitalia launch is the latest new air service route from Dulles International in 2019, which saw passenger activity increase by more than 5 percent in 2018. Washington Dulles is the leading international airport in the National Capital Region, with more than 8 million international passengers in 2018.