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Alitalia Begins Seasonal Flights to LAX on May 1, 2013

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GAC
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Alitalia Begins Seasonal Flights to LAX on May 1, 2013

Alitalia begins its summer 2013 service between FCO and LAX on May 1 with nonstop flights on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays through the end of May, then DAILY flights from June through September, tapering off at the end of October or early November. The service goes into hibernation for the winter and early spring.

Flights are operated with Boeing 777-200ER aircraft with 293 seats (30 Magnifica, 24 Classica Plus and 239 Economy), and take roughly 12.5 hours westbound and 11.5 hours eastbound.

As in previous years, Alitalia (code share with Delta) will be the exclusive operator of nonstop flights between Rome and Los Angeles (and indeed, between Italy and California).

The nonstop flights allow good connections to numerous cities in Italy, including Palermo and Catania.

Seat map:

…alitalia.it/it/…flotta-alitalia.html

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1. Re: Alitalia Begins Seasonal Flights to LAX on May 1, 2013

Very interesting. I know that many Delta metal 777 have 3/3/3 seating, this Alitalia has 3/4/3 and seems to cram more steerage seats in. I find the 3/3/3 is much more comfortable and I usually try to get two seats in the center so no disturbing a stranger (or vice versa) to get out.

Is the above accurate?

GAC
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2. Re: Alitalia Begins Seasonal Flights to LAX on May 1, 2013

Unfortunately, you are correct: when Alitalia "refurbished" its 777-200ER very recently to add the "Classica plus" section, it increased the number of economy seats per row from 3-3-3 to 3-4-3 (as on 747s), following the lead of Air France and perhaps others. This allowed Alitalia to limit the loss of total economy seats to only 10, even when it added 24 "Classica plus" seats (at the expense of 12 Magnifica seats).

There is a photo on the Alitalia website of the "refurbished" economy section of the 777-200ER which shows the new 3-4-3 configuration and just how NARROW the aisles have become. The economy seats themselves MAY also have been paired down in width by a couple of centimeters. I do note that they measure ONLY 16.5 inches in width (with a 6-inch recline) as reported on seatguru.com (and this measurement may not be precise). By contrast, the "Classica plus" seats are reported to measure 19.2 inches in width with a 9-inch recline, and greater pitch as well.

BTW, the LAST flight this season from FCO to LAX to FCO is scheduled to operate on October 26, 2013. Last year, Alitalia registered an incredible 95% seat occupancy factor at the conclusion of its seasonal LAX service.

GAC
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3. Re: Alitalia Begins Seasonal Flights to LAX on May 1, 2013

According to official statistics from the LAX Airport Authority, Alitalia began its 2013 season on a very strong note: a 91% seat occupancy factor on its 13 eastbound flights during May (and a 76% seat occupancy factor for the same 13 westbound flights).

On a combined basis, the average passenger load was 244, or an occupancy factor of 83%. The relatively higher occupancy factor for the eastbound flights is not surprising, as passenger flow TOWARDS Italy begins to take off in May. The relatively lower occupancy factor for the westbound flights perhaps explains why Alitalia does not (at least for now) increase its weekly flights during May beyond three (daily beginning in June).

Alitalia placed 11th (last) amongst European Airlines, behind (in order) British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic, KLM, Turkish, Swiss, Aeroflot, El Al, and Iberia.

Clearly, there is plenty of room for improvement (as passengers numbers swell between June and September).

GAC
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4. Re: Alitalia Begins Seasonal Flights to LAX on May 1, 2013

Alitalia's new 3-4-3 configuration in economy class on the refurbished 777-200 is shown in this video, beginning at 2'22":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6E7htxEYyU

The same video also shows the new economy plus and magnifica classes.

Italy
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5. Re: Alitalia Begins Seasonal Flights to LAX on May 1, 2013

Thanks for the video.

GAC
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6. Re: Alitalia Begins Seasonal Flights to LAX on May 1, 2013

Official traffic statistics just published by the LAX Airport Authority reflects a positive uptrend for Alitalia compared to last year: on an annual cumulative basis through the end of June 2013, Alitalia carried 16.1% more passengers on its LAX/FCO/LAX flights compared to the same period in 2012. Specifically, last month Alitalia's daily nonstop flight carried 14,083 passengers in both directions, resulting in an average load of 235 passengers and an occupancy factor of 80.1%. The occupancy factor for May 2013 (when there were only three flights per week in each direction) was 83.3%. For the month of June, Alitalia ranked seventh to Europe, behind Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France, Virgin Atlantic, KLM and Turkish, and ahead of Swiss, El Al, Aeroflot and Iberia.

While these results are certainly quite respectable, I note that Lufthansa's occupancy factor on its THREE daily nonstop flights to Germany during June was an astounding 97.7%.

Results for the rest of the summer months are expected to be stronger than those for June.

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7. Re: Alitalia Begins Seasonal Flights to LAX on May 1, 2013

Alitalia registered a very strong performance during July 2013 on its FCO/LAX/FCO route: according to official traffic statistics from the LAX Airport Authority, Alitalia's daily nonstop flight last July carried 16,146 passengers in both directions, resulting in an average load of 260.4 passengers and an occupancy factor of 88.9%. The occupancy factor for June 2013 was 80.1%.

For the month of July, Alitalia continued to rank seventh to Europe, behind Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, KLM and Turkish, and ahead of Swiss, El Al, Aeroflot and Iberia.

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8. Re: Alitalia Begins Seasonal Flights to LAX on May 1, 2013

Official LAX airport statistics have been published for the month of August 2013:

Alitalia flew 16,527 passengers in both directions on its one daily nonstop flight between FCO and LAX, resulting in an average passenger load of 266.6 passengers, or an average occupancy factor of 91%.

During August of last year, Alitalia few 90 more passengers on this route, indicating that the passenger load has stabilized.

For the month of August, Alitalia continued to rank seventh to Europe, behind Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, KLM and Turkish, and ahead of Swiss, Aeroflot, El Al, and Iberia.

Beginning today and for the next two weeks, Alitalia will maintain five weekly flights to LAX, dropping to three per week for the last two weeks of October.

The last flight for 2013 is scheduled for October 26, 2013.

Flights will be suspended until April 30, 2014, when they will resume at three times per week until June 2014, when they will become daily. Next year, flights will depart and arrive one hour later in both directions, which is a more reasonable schedule for the westbound crossing, to allow for a better connection from feeder flights within Italy.

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9. Re: Alitalia Begins Seasonal Flights to LAX on May 1, 2013

Today is the last Alitalia nonstop flight for 2013 between FCO and LAX.

Today, AZ 620 from FCO landed five minutes late into LAX.

AZ 621 departed LAX on time for FCO.

There will be no further flights on this route for the rest of 2013.

Alitalia will return to LAX on May 1, 2014 with a reinforced frequency of FIVE flights per week (up from three per week in previous years). Flights will run one hour later (in both directions) than in previous years.

All of the foregoing contingent on Alitalia still operating next year!

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10. Re: Alitalia Begins Seasonal Flights to LAX on May 1, 2013

ALITALIA SELLS OUT LAX FLIGHTS IN SEPTEMBER 2013

Official LAX Airport Statistics report that Alitalia registered virtually full flights during the month of September between FCO and LAX: the daily flights had an average passenger load of 272, or a 92.8% occupancy factor. A total of 16,318 passengers were flown in both directions, nearly as many as in August (which had 31 days).

Passenger loads and occupancy factors have been steadily increasing during 2013:

May: 244 pax = 83.3% (three flights per week)

June: 235 pax = 80.1% (daily flights thru September)

July: 260 pax = 88.9%

August: 267 pax = 91%

September: 272 pax = 92.8%

In September, Alitalia ranked seventh to Europe, behind British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, Virgin Atlantic, KLM, and Turkish, but ahead of Swiss, Aeroflot, El Al and Iberia.

Alitalia LAX flights are suspended for the winter, and will re-commence on May 1, 2014 with FIVE weekly flights in May and DAILY flights in the summer.