Alitalia, Italy’s leading carrier, and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, have unveiled two aircraft in a unique Expo Milano 2015 livery to mark their co-sponsorship of the global event.
Expo 2015 will be held in Milan from 1 May 2015 to 31 October 2015 with an estimated 20 million visitors expected to attend the event of which more than a third will travel to the northern Italian city by air.
The airlines held joint simultaneous events at Malpensa Airport in Milan and Abu Dhabi Airport to unveil the two Airbus A330-200 aircraft, to audiences gathered in both locations as well as thousands watching online around the world.
The Alitalia A330-200 and the Etihad Airways A330-200, both in the eye-catching special livery, will operate their first flights tomorrow, Tuesday 21 October, between Rome and Abu Dhabi and will carry the Expo 2015 “feeding the planet, energy for life” message worldwide.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “I am delighted to launch the Expo 2015 collaboration with Alitalia in Milan and in Abu Dhabi. From today, these two aircraft, in this eye-catching livery, will spread the important global message of Expo 2015 to people on six continents.
“The co-sponsorship of Expo 2015 is evidence of the growing partnership between Alitalia and Etihad Airways and will play in a key role in bringing the targeted eight million visitors from around the world to Milan.
“I believe Expo 2015 will once again demonstrate the power of travel and tourism to drive growth and stimulate job creation and economic development in Italy.”
Flight frequencies to and from Milan are set to increase during Expo 2015 when Alitalia will commence daily flights between Milan Malpensa and Abu Dhabi. These flights will connect with Etihad Airways’ services throughout the Middle East and with markets in the Indian sub-continent, Southeast Asia, and Africa.
Alitalia and Etihad Airways will link Milan with 560 unique online and codeshare destinations across the globe.
The new Alitalia service will complement Etihad Airways’ successful daily passenger flights and regular freight flights between Milan and Abu Dhabi and contribute to the two airlines’ commitment to develop Malpensa as a global air cargo hub.
Gabriele Del Torchio, Chief Executive Officer of Alitalia, said: “We are very pleased to continue the joint Expo 2015 campaign with Etihad Airways and unveil these Expo 2015 livery aircraft which will be seen at airports in North America, South America, Asia and Africa – all key markets for Alitalia and from where we’ll carry passengers to Expo 2015 in Milan.
“The Expo 2015 logo expresses a set of values and a vision shared also by Alitalia: the pursuit of excellence, style and elegance typical of the “Made in Italy” brand, the renowned cuisine, fashion, design and art that are an essential part of our country.
“We are very proud that Alitalia and Etihad Airways have been jointly chosen as the Official Global Airline Carriers. Today I want to repeat even louder that this choice reaffirms Alitalia’s important and strategic role as an infrastructural asset in Italy’s development and its commitment to travel and tourism.”
In addition to the joint liveried aircraft, Alitalia and Etihad Airways are offering a number of business initiatives including all-inclusive packages and special fares targeted at families, seniors, business travellers and young people for Expo 2015.
The two air carriers are also implementing an integrated marketing and communication plan including onboard and ground announcements for their flights, as well as offers to loyalty program members, print and digital campaigns, and social media activities.
Alitalia and Etihad Airways will have a pavilion throughout Expo 2015 with an interactive social hub that will enable people to enjoy activities in Milan whether in the city or around the world.
Giuseppe Sala, Commissioner of the Government of Italy for Expo Milano 2015 and CEO of the Expo 2015 Company, said: “We are very pleased with the communication project planned by Alitalia and Etihad Airways to accompany the launch of Expo 2015.
“We are proud to see these two Airbus A330-200s with the World Expo logo on it, emphasising the unique and extraordinary event that we are organising.
“We set an important goal for eight million people to come from abroad and visit Expo 2015. Thanks to these aircraft, and the other initiatives that will be put in place in the coming months, we are sure we will achieve this goal.”