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ITA Airways Expands U.S. Network with Washington DC and San Francisco

ITA Airways passengers booking between May 18 and 31 can earn double Volare miles on the new routes to San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

by Matteo Legnani

May 19, 2023

ITA Airways has unveiled a promotional offer to mark the launch of its two new sought-after destinations in the United States: Washington-Dulles (IAD) and San Francisco (SFO).

As part of this limited-time promotion, passengers who reserve their seats between May 18 and May 31, with travel dates falling between June 15 and July 31, will be rewarded with double the Volare miles for their journeys on these newly introduced routes. The enticing promotion aims to delight passengers and enhance its Volare Frequent Flyer Program.

Volare Miles Calculations

ITA Airways introduced its Volare Frequent Flyer Program in March 2022, and within a year, it successfully celebrated surpassing the one-million-member milestone.

The program offers a sophisticated calculation system for earning miles, taking into account several factors, including the membership status (Smart, Plus, Premium, Executive), the ticket’s monetary value, the airfare type (Light, Classic, or Flex), the network flown (Domestic, International, Intercontinental), and the cabin class (Economy, Premium Economy, and Business).

Photo: ITA Airways, Airbus A330-200. Courtesy of ITA Airways.

With the combination of these parameters, calculating Volare miles becomes a meticulous process, ensuring that passengers are appropriately rewarded based on their travel preferences and loyalty to ITA Airways.

Enhanced Connectivity: Washington, D.C., and San Francisco

Starting June 2, ITA Airways will commence flights from the US capital, Washington, D.C., with an initial frequency of five weekly flights. By August 1, the service will escalate to daily flights, catering to the growing demand for travel.

The route will be served by an Airbus A330-200, equipped with three classes—Business, Premium Economy, and Economy—to ensure passengers enjoy a comfortable journey to the enchanting city of Rome.

Simultaneously, ITA Airways will inaugurate its San Francisco services on July 1, with three weekly flights, which will increase to four flights per week from August 2. Passengers will have the pleasure of traveling on a spacious Airbus A350-900, offering two classes—Business and Economy—for an elevated travel experience.

The addition of San Francisco marks a return to this captivating Northern California city for ITA Airways, following in the footsteps of its predecessor, Alitalia.

Revisiting the Past: Alitalia’s Legacy

Both Washington, D.C. and San Francisco have been previously served by Alitalia, ITA Airways’ predecessor. Alitalia initially added San Francisco to its network in the late 1990s, but the service was discontinued a few years later.

Similarly, Washington, DC, was activated and terminated multiple times in the final years of Alitalia’s operations. However, ITA Airways is dedicated to resurrecting these coveted routes, emphasizing its commitment to meeting passenger demand and enhancing its global reach.

Photo: ITA Airways, Airbus A330-900neo. Courtesy of ITA Airways.

With the revival of these connections, ITA Airways embarks on a new chapter, weaving a seamless web of connectivity that brings together travelers from Rome, Washington, DC, and San Francisco.

“We started flight operations at the beginning of October 2021 with just one long-haul flight, connecting Rome and New York. Fourteen months later, we are proud to offer our guests a network consisting of nine intercontinental destinations, set to become 14 by the year-end,” Fabio Lazzerini, CEO at ITA Airways, commented last December at the launch of the two new US-bound flights.

Potential Alliance Shift: Negotiations and Implications

Including Washington, DC, and San Francisco in the network—two strong United/Star Alliance hubs—suggests a possible connection to the ongoing negotiations between the Italian carrier and Lufthansa, a key member of the Star Alliance.

Industry experts believe that Lufthansa’s acquisition of ITA Airways is almost inevitable, leading to speculation about a subsequent shift from the Italian carrier’s SkyTeam to Star Alliance.

Photo: Courtesy of ITA Airways

If the acquisition transpires, ITA Airways will align itself with the robust network of Star Alliance, opening up new avenues for cooperation and enhanced connectivity for passengers.

U.S. Presence and Flight Frequencies

ITA Airways has made substantial investments and strategic additions to its flight schedules to cater to the growing demand in the US market. Commencing June 1, the airline will increase its frequency on the highly sought-after New York-JFK to Rome route, with flights operating thrice daily.

Furthermore, ITA Airways will also connect Milan-Malpensa to New York JFK once daily, solidifying its presence in the bustling city.

Fleet and Future Plans

ITA Airways currently operates a long-range fleet consisting of eight Airbus A330-200s inherited from its predecessor, Alitalia.

These aircraft feature 20 seats in Business Class, 17 in Premium Economy, and 219 in Economy. Additionally, the airline boasts six Airbus A350-900s with 33 Business Class seats and 301 Economy Class seats.

Photo: ITA Airways, Airbus A330-200 “Francesco Totti.” Courtesy of ITA Airways / Alfredo Falcone

ITA Airways has its sights set on the delivery of its first Airbus A330-900, with a total of 17 aircraft on order. The first A330neo, adorned in ITA Airways’ signature Savoia Blue livery, completed its maiden flight on April 28 in Toulouse, France. It is expected to be delivered to the airline in late May.

The anticipated entry of the Airbus A330-900 into service in June will mark a significant milestone for ITA Airways. The aircraft’s inaugural route will connect Rome with Miami, and subsequent destinations such as New York-JFK, Sao Paulo, and Delhi will follow suit as more A330neos join the fleet.

As ITA Airways embarks on this transformative journey, the airline aims to strengthen its foothold in the US market, expand its network, and explore potential synergies with Lufthansa and the Star Alliance.

With an unwavering commitment to providing exceptional service and seamless travel experiences, ITA Airways is poised to make a lasting impression on the global aviation landscape.