The UAE’s Etihad Airways and Italy’s Alitalia have jointly been named as Official Global Airline Carriers for Expo 2015.
To be held in Milan from May 1 to October 31, 2015, Expo 2015 is estimated to see 20 million visitors, of which about 7.6 million will travel to Milan by air, with 1.5 million arriving from intercontinental destinations, 3.3 million from international destinations and 2.8 million from within Italy.
Alitalia and Etihad Airways will offer almost 100 flights per day to and from Milan, linking 866 cities across the globe through 125 direct flights and a further 741 via one-stop connections.
Gabriele Del Torchio, Chief Executive Officer of Alitalia, said: “Expo 2015 will be a remarkable opportunity for Italy. We could not miss being part of it, and we are very proud that Alitalia and Etihad Airways have been jointly chosen as the Official Global Airline Carriers”.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways , said: “Italy is a strategic market for Etihad Airways and teaming up with Alitalia as an Official Global Airline Carrier for Expo 2015 is a natural extension of our existing codeshare agreement”.
” Etihad Airways will play a leading role in promoting Expo 2015 to a global audience, focussing on key markets across the Gulf region, Australia, Asia, and the Subcontinent”.
“In the coming months Etihad Airways and Alitalia will unveil an iconic Expo 2015 pavilion, and we look forward to welcoming guests from all over the world through its doors from May 1, 2015,” said Mr Hogan.
Giuseppe Sala, CEO of Expo 2015 Company, said: “We are pleased with having Alitalia and Etihad Airways as partners of Expo Milano 2015. We want 20 million people to visit the exhibition site: we expect eight million to come from abroad. We know that a worldwide operating asset is needed to support us in reaching this goal.”
Alitalia and Etihad Airways said in a media statement that they will unveil a number of business initiatives including all-inclusive packages and special fares targeted at families, seniors, business travellers and young people, over the coming months.