LONDON – Italy’s new flag carrier ITA Airways has expanded its route network to Male, Velana International Airport in the Maldives. The airline opened its ticket sales from Rome Fiumicino Airport to Male, Maldives on the 8th of July 2022.
It is quite unfortunate however that the airline will operate this route seasonally and all year round, as the flight will operate from 17th December 2022 until the 26th March 2023, which is a peak travel season to the Maldives, especially for European holiday goers.
ITA Airways will operate to the famous Indian Ocean destination thrice weekly until the 22nd of January and then will reduce to 2 times a week from the 23rd until the end of the winter schedule.
ITA Airways will now be able to transport European holidaymakers from dozens of European destinations through its hub in Rome to the Maldives.
ITA Airways really does have big opportunities for this route as some European carriers have ended operations in the Maldives, including Austrian Airlines.
This route opening, increases its operational footprint to its already comprehensive route network, spanning as far as North and South America, across Europe, and now to the Indian Ocean.
This means that the introduction of the Rome Fiumicino to Male flight will result in an overall destination with 22 domestic and 33 international flights or 63 destinations overall. This is an impressive milestone for the newly established company.
Traffic Between Italy and the Maldives
The Maldives is one of the world’s most sought-after destinations, not only for Europeans but for worldwide tourists.
Before the demise of the former flag carrier Alitalia, the airline also flew to Maldives which began on October 17th 2017, flying three times per week using the 250-seater Airbus A330.
Italian Airlines, not limited to Alitalia and NEOS found that Italy to Maldives market presents lots of opportunities as in 2016 alone, over 71,000 Italian nationals visited the Maldives for holiday.
This makes the Italian market the 4th largest market in the country. In that year, the year-on-year growth market reached 8.5% and is poised to grow even bigger.
Despite the disruption from COVID-19, the traffic between the two countries is set to increase. NEOS, another Italian leisure carrier recently re-launched its Milan via Rome to Maldives route flying three times a day after 2 years of the pandemic pause.
The airline will fly its high-density Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. With the demise of Alitalia, capacity for Male drastically dropped leaving NEOS to be the only Italian leisure carrier to perform the route.
ITA Airways spared no chances and flew to this route, competing directly with NEOS. This signifies how strong the demand for the Maldives from Italy really is.