Alitalia returns to San Francisco in U.S. expansion push
Alitalia will land in San Francisco next year, as the Italian flag carrier continues the U.S. expansion it kicked off this May, despite being in bankruptcy since 2017.
The SkyTeam Alliance carrier will fly between its Rome Fiumcino (FCO) base and San Francisco (SFO) from June 1, it said this week. Alitalia will operate three weekly flights on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays with a Boeing 777 aircraft.
The new route heralds a return to San Francisco after a nearly two-decade hiatus for Alitalia. The airline ended flights to the California city from Milan Malpensa (MXP) in 2001, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
San Francisco joins Washington Dulles (IAD) in Alitalia's newfound U.S. push. The carrier landed at Dulles in May, offering five weekly flights from Rome on an Airbus A330.
Alitalia has been in limbo since declaring the Italian equivalent of bankruptcy in May 2017. The carrier has been under state control ever since, with the government moving slowly on a planned privatization.
Delta Air Lines may bid for an up to 10% stake in Alitalia, Delta CEO Ed Bastian told Reuters on Sept. 26. The comment came after the U.S. carrier announced a more than $2 billion investment in LATAM Airlines.
Alitalia will grow capacity to the U.S. by roughly 6.5% year-over-year in 2019, according to Diio by Cirium schedule data. In addition to Washington Dulles, the airline serves Boston (BOS), Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA) and New York John F. Kennedy (JFK) in the U.S.