MEXICO CITY — Alitalia set a milestone in its history yesterday, when flight AZ676 from Rome marked the return of the Italian carrier to Mexico City after a 25-year hiatus.
Celebrations for the first flight began in the airline’s base at Fiumicino International Airport, where a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place, attended by the airline’s CEO Cramer Ball, Dario Franceschini, Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, Juan Jose Guerra Abud, Mexican Ambassador in Italy, and Fausto Palombelli, Marketing Director for the Airport.
“This is a very significant day for Alitalia. We continue building a strong presence in Latin America from Italy after our recent inaugural flight to Santiago de Chile. This new direct flight to Mexico is a great opportunity for both countries, as it will help us to increase the tourist flow between both nations” Ball said.
The flight bound to Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City departed at 10:25 local time, operated by a Boeing 777-200ER, and with a load factor nearing the 80%. At the arrival to the main gateway of Mexico, the flight was received by the customary water cannon salute and by the local authorities, who were delighted with their welcoming reception.
“The warm welcome that was given to us has no comparison. We can notice people all around us taking pictures of our Boeing 777. Today is an important day because we connected Italy to Mexico”, Ball said excitedly at the arrival.
Alitalia’s Boeing 777-200ER fleet has a cabin configuration for 293 seats, divided into three classes: Business, Premium Economy and Economy. Recently, the fleet was overhauled with new interiors, offering a new product in Business Class with Poltrona Frau flat bed leather seats. The premium product is further complemented with a world-class food and beverage service, awarded six years in a row by Global Traveler magazine as the “Best Airline Cuisine.”
During the press conference held at the arrival of the flight in Mexico City, Ball boasted that the new interiors fitted to the triple seven fleet are 100% Italian. “Italy is Alitalia and vice versa. Everything you touch on board is Italian.” The CEO also stressed that the return flight to Rome had a 100% load factor, forecasting the success of the route.
After the press conference, the celebration took place at gate 22 of Terminal 1 in Mexico City International Airport, where the ribbon was cut and the route was officially inaugurated.