ITA Airways to Reshape Its UK Network

ITA Airways axes London Heathrow Airport Operations to focus on London City Airport for its Rome and Milan routes.



February 12, 2024

DALLAS — ITA Airways (AZ) has announced it will no longer operate out of London Heathrow (LHR), focusing instead on London City Aiport (LCY), with up to 43 weekly frequencies from Rome and Milan.

The connection from Rome Fiumicino Aiport (FCO) to LCY will operate from April 1 with 12 weekly flights. The connection between Milan Linate SIlport (LIN) and LCY will see almost three times the number of flights from Rome, with 31 weekly flights.

In addition, AZ will commence flights to London Gatwick Airport (LGW), the city's second busiest, with a daily flight from FCO starting in June 2024. As a result of the new scheduling, the airline will operate 100 weekly flights between Italy and the UK in the summer.

ITA Airways' "Born to Be Sustainable" Airbus A220. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

ITA Airways Airbus A220

ITA's new Airbus A220-100 will operate the flights to LCY. AZ received its first aircraft, EI-HLA, in November. The aircraft is the smallest in the AZ fleet, carrying 125 passengers in a single-class configuration. The aircraft's cabin is arranged in a 3-2 configuration with 25 rows equipped with recliner seats.

The Airbus A220-100 is the smallest aircraft manufactured by Airbus, meaning it can land in LCY. The Embraer E195-E2 was recently certified to commence operations to the British financial capital.

EI-HLA, Airbus A220-100, certified for operations at London City Airport. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Importance of the UK Market for ITA

The UK has always been an important market for AZ. Over half a million Italians are registered with the Italian Embassy; however, the numbers may be significantly higher.

Most Italians live in the Great London Area and moved to the UK well before Brexit. These numbers portray a significant market for the Italian flag carrier, which faces substantial competition from the advanced low-cost market in England.

Carriers such as Ryanair (FR), Vueling (VY), and easyJet (U2) operate multiple daily flights from London Stansted Aiport (STN), Luton Airport (LTN), and LGW hubs to different Italian cities. Therefore, AZ's strength will be connecting business travelers from the city finance hub to the Italian political and fashion capitals.

Featured Image: ITA Airways EI-HLA Airbus A220-100 at LIN. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways