ITA Airways Inaugurates Rome Fiumicino – Tokyo Haneda Route – Simple Flying

Italian flag carrier ITA Airways added Tokyo (HND) to its list of international destinations on Saturday, establishing its first non-stop flight between Italy and Japan. The 12-hour flight from Rome-Fiumicino (FCO) will operate thrice a week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday (with return flights on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday) and will be serviced by an Airbus A350. The move comes as ITA Airways looks to expand its flight network to include more destinations in Asia.

ITA’s first flight to Japan

Ribbon cut Fco-Haneda

Photo: ITA Airways

The inaugural flight departed from Rome at 15:20 on November 5th and landed in Tokyo the following day at 11:20. It was completely full, both in terms of passengers as well as cargo. The flight was preceded by a ribbon-cutting ceremony that was attended by ITA’s Chief Commercial Officer Tommaso Fumelli, Vice President of Sales Carlo Briziarelli, and Chief of Ground Operations Pierluigi Di Palma, among others. The return flight departed from Tokyo at 13:35 and landed in Rome at 20:30 on the same day.

It is worth noting that the flight time was longer than usual due to the closure of Russian airspace as a result of the war in Ukraine.

The Italian hub

ITA Airways Airbus A319

Founded in 2020, ITA Airways stands for Italia Transporto Aereo and is Italy’s major airline and flag carrier. The carrier operates flights to over 60 destinations, but its flight network is primarily concentrated around Europe. As of the time of writing of this article, ITA serves six international destinations: New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX), Boston (BOS), Miami (MIA), Buenos Aires (BAI), and Sao Paulo (GRU).

Travelers from India can also expect New Delhi (DEL) to be added to that list in December of this year as the carrier looks to expand its reach from Europe into Asia.

The addition of a new route to the catalog comes at a time when demand for travel has just about recovered from where it was during the pandemic. The decision is also perfectly timed as Japan reopened its borders to tourists just last month for the first time in two years. The flight to Tokyo sets Rome up nicely as a potential future transit hub for travelers to Italy and Europe.

Such travelers will bring increased economic activity to Italy, benefiting not only ITA Airways but also other Italian businesses as well. Other airlines looking to resume flights to Japan or otherwise expand their network in Asia will no doubt be watching ITA’s new route closely to see how successful it is and whether Italy becomes the European travel hub that ITA is hoping for.

With the addition of a new route to Tokyo, ITA Airways continues to expand its flight network to include more international destinations and ultimately improve its value proposition. Such improvements will certainly be taken into consideration as the Italian flag carrier continues acquisition talks with larger entities like Air France-KLM and Lufthansa. In many ways, the new route has the potential to make or break ITA’s pitch for a buyout and will therefore have long-term ramifications for the airline. However, only time will tell if it was a good decision for the airline as a whole.