MIAMI — Italian carrier, Meridiana, announced a new service to Miami International Airport (MIA), which is set to begin on June 8.

The four weekly flights will depart Milan on a “refurbished” 247-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft, aiming to compete against American Airlines (AA) and Alitalia (AZ), on the same route.

Miami becomes Meridiana’s second US destination. The airline has scheduled flights to New York (JFK).

“We appreciate Meridiana for choosing MIA to be part of its expansion into new markets this year,” said MDAD Chief of Staff Joseph Napoli. “We gladly welcome their additional service to the popular city of Milan, as well as their connections to new destinations around the world.”

In 2017, MIA welcomed seven new passenger airlines and four all-cargo airlines, bringing the total number to 107—the number-one in the country.

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Meridiana—partially owned (49%) by Qatar Airways—has plans for a larger network expansion in 2018. From Milan, it will include 17 destinations in Italy, Africa, Russia, China, the U.S. and the Caribbean.

The airline seems to be on a path to consolidate itself as Alitalia’s biggest competitor, opening up new destinations that the ill-fated National carrier currently flies to.

READ MORE: Qatar Taunts Etihad’s Alitalia, Purchases 49% of Meridiana

“Meridiana continues to expedite its expansion plans, and starting this new Miami-Milan will provide our passengers with an array of convenient travel options when traveling to Milan and Italy,” said Meridiana’s Executive Deputy Chairman, Mr. Marco Rigotti.

“In connection with the Miami-Milan routes, our customers will also reach several of the top Italian destinations in Sicily, Naples with Sorrento, Capri and Positano, Rome and Sardinia Emerald Coast,” he said.

Meridiana is the second airline to launch MIA service this year. The Brazilian low-cost carrier, GOL, take back Miami operations on November 18, with daily flights to Brasilia and Fortaleza.

 

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