Photo: Ed Pascuzzi

MIAMI — Air Italy launched its first direct route between its hub in Milan-Malpensa (MXP) and Toronto-Pearson International Airport (YYZ), becoming the carrier’s fifth destination in North America.

The airline will be operating the route six days a week, with the exception of Thursdays until seasonal end October 25.

“This is a very special day for me, as it is great to be home!” said Air Italy Chief Operating Officer and native Torontonian, Rossen Dimitrov.

“With the largest Italian community outside of Italy, strong global relations and the economic strength of this city and region, there is enormous potential in this new service and we look forward to bringing a new customer experience offering to this market.”

Both Toronto and Milan serve as cultural and economic hubs for their respective countries. The alliance deems to become a strong one as each has diverse offerings when it comes to travel, customer experience and potential growth in reciprocal business investments.

“Toronto and Milan are also twin cities and these cosmopolitan and multicultural cities are both important centers for trade and investment, as well as being major cultural centers,” added Dimitrov.

“Clearly, therefore, we expect a high volume of business and leisure trade in the fashion, food and culture sectors thanks to our new Toronto-Milan service in both directions.”

Flights will be operated on Italy’s Airbus A330-200, offering 24 fully flatbed seats and new dining on demand option for business class passengers. The planes are also fitted with 228 seats in Economy Class, where all customers can take advantage of inflight Wi-Fi, extensive entertainment selections and personalized attention of onboard staff.

The new route is the third new service planned for 2019 after the previous launches of new flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco on April 3 and April 10 respectively.

North American Expansion

Toronto rapidly becomes Air Italy’s fifth North American destination, following New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

The carrier inaugurated its flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco during the first week of April. According to Air Italy, all the North American flights perfectly connect in MXP to its other domestic destinations: Rome-Fiumicino, Naples, Lamezia Terme, Palermo, Catania, Olbia, and Cagliari.

And even though the carrier will be flying to both Californian cities as well as to Toronto on a seasonal basis—while keeping its New York and Miami rotations daily—American Airlines (AA), Delta (DL), and United (UA) carriers haven’t stopped raising their voices against the Italian airline.

The US carriers repeatedly blame Air Italy for being a Qatar Airways tool, looking to threaten the United States by connecting its hub in Doha through Air Italy’s Milan base.

As a response, Air Italy issued a press release in which it defended itself against these allegations.

“The largest US carriers (and their alliance partners) control about 90% of all transatlantic traffic,” rebuts Air Italy.

“If any of these three US airlines genuinely believe that our tiny share of “their” market is a threat, or that we should not be permitted to be licensed as an Italian carrier and serve the US, then they should address their complaints to ENAC and to the European Commission.”