ITA Airways recently took delivery of its new Airbus A321neo with a mid-haul configuration. Well, it seems the first route to experience will be between Rome, London and Paris.
ITA Airways Airbus A321neo – Image, Airbus.
The new Airbus A321neo will operate on the Rome Fiumicino – London Heathrow route daily and on the Rome Fiumicino – Paris Charles de Gaulle route over the Christmas Holidays.
Between Rome and London Heathrow, one flight a day will be rostered with the new aircraft, operating through to the end of January. It will depart around 2:00 p.m. and arrive at London Heathrow by 4:30 p.m. From London, the flight will depart around 5:00 p.m. and land at Rome Fiumicino in the evening by 9:00 p.m. (the schedule may vary depending on the day opted for).
For those travelling to Paris for the Christmas period, the new aircraft will operate from December 22 to January 9, with 3 daily frequencies on Rome Fiumicino – Paris Charles De Gaulle. Three departure flights from Rome FCO (8:35 am, 3:05 pm, and 9:30 pm with arrival at 10:45 am, 5:15 pm, and 11:40 pm respectively) and three return flights from Paris CDG (departing at 6:10 am, 11:45 am, 6:10 pm and arriving at 8:10 am, 1:50 pm, 8:15 pm respectively).
Why London and Rome?
A Mid-Haul configuration might be deemed a waste on a comparatively short-haul route. But it’s more of a need to press the aircraft into service.
ITA Airways’ new Airbus A321neo was initially scheduled to operate on the Rome Fiumicino – Tel Aviv from the 1st of December 2023. It seemed that current geopolitical situations have put that deployment on hold.
Thus, for two months, it’s going to shuttle from Rome to Paris
Onboard the A321neo
The A321neo is configured in a three-class configuration, featuring Business Class (with 12 reclining seats with full lie-flat bed configuration), Premium Economy (with 12 seats) and Economy (with 141 seats, 12 of which are dedicated to Comfort Economy).
It features the Airspace Cabin aboard, offering the latest-generation seats, a new ITA Airways custom interior lighting system, and XL overhead bins. It also features a lighting system, centric to the flight phases, with 17.3” (Business), 15.6” (Premium Economy) and 13.3” (Economy) screens across the classes.
There is also Wi-Fi connectivity onboard, for those who need to be connected to the world for the duration of the flight.
Adjustment is Par for the course for aviation
If the past few years have taught those in the aviation industry anything – having the ability to adjust because of political, health or regional events is a matter of life for an airline.
Whilst ITA Airways would have preferred to operate this mid-haul aircraft to Tel Aviv, with the premium passengers such a route can attract – that isn’t viable for some airlines at this time.
As such, redeploying equipment to support operations until such time it’s possible to return to a route makes economic sense – as well as allowing crews to be trained on this variant of the Airbus A321neo.
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