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Ryanair opening hub at Rome's major international airport

Asks cash-strapped Alitalia for 'feeder' flights

26 November, 15:01
Ryanair opening hub at Rome's major international airport (ANSA) - Rome, November 26 - Low-cost European carrier Ryanair is launching a new hub at Rome's major international airport Fiumicino, offering three new connections to southern Italy, and hoping to join cash-strapped Italian carrier Alitalia in a flight-sharing partnership, the company announced Tuesday. Flights at Fiumicino, also known as Leonardo Da Vinci, will be offered starting December 18, gradually rerouting pre-existing domestic Ryanair flights from the Ciampino airport over the course of the next year. The Ireland-based carrier said the move aims to free up Ciampino for more international connections. Daily business routes to Brussels (Zaventum) and Barcelona (El Prat) were among the first on offer from Fiumicino. The three new destinations are Catania, Lamezia and Palermo. Ryanair also said that it will increase its daily frequencies if Alitalia cuts back during its restructuring phase as it seeks a 300-million-euro capital increase to reduce its towering debt.

The low-cost carrier is offering so-called feeder flights that would fit into Alitalia's' international network to and from Rome Fiumicino. "Since Ryanair is Italy's No. 1 airline, it is important that we respond to our airport partners, who are looking to ensure that they have secure domestic routes and feed to/from Rome Fiumicino, particularly as Alitalia continues to restructure," said Ryanair Deputy CEO Michael Cawley. "We hope Alitalia will take up our offer to cooperate with them...Ryanair believes that by offering to feed Alitalia's international hub at Fiumicino and by searching for opportunities to work with and assist Alitalia in its turnaround, that we can help the new investors and the management of Alitalia to return that airline to profitability and viability".

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