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Costa takes off with Alitalia: signs three-year fly-cruise deal

Neil Palomba, president of Costa Crociere (left) and Ariodante Valeri, coo Alitalia with hostesses from the two companies
Costa Crociere and Alitalia, the main Italian airline, have signed a three-year agreement enabling Costa passengers departing from Italy to use Alitalia scheduled and charter flights to reach various ports of embarkation around the world.

The agreement, presented at EXPO Milano 2015, envisages a total of around 100,000 airline seats on Alitalia flights, made available to Costa Cruises in the period 2015-2018.

It represents further growth for the Italian fly-cruise market, first introduced by Costa Crociere in 1968.

'There is a well-established relationship in place with Alitalia, which takes on significant value for our guests who are looking for Italian style at all times during their travel experience,' remarked Neil Palomba, president of Costa Crociere.

'This new agreement underlines our focus on customer service, characterised by the offer of solutions with increased comfort, but also - adds Palomba - the ability to innovate and to create a system of two Italian companies which represent an essential engine for the growth of tourism in Italy.'

Ariodante Valeri, chief commercial officer of Alitalia, stated: 'What we are presenting today with Costa Crociere is an agreement of great value between two companies at the forefront of Italian tourism around the world. In order to give new impetus to tourism, in an increasingly competitive global market, now more than ever, we need to create a system – institutions, large enterprises, trade and services – and the agreement between Alitalia and Costa Crociere is heading in this direction.'

Alitalia flights for Costa Crociere will link a total of 27 Italian airports to the following destinations: the Caribbean and the US, with the airports in Pointe a Pitre (Guadeloupe) and Miami; the United Arab Emirates; Northern Europe with Warnemunde-Rostock, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm; Trieste for one-week cruises in the eastern Mediterranean.

Benefits include exclusive 'through check-in' service, available at all Italian airports with Alitalia only, on both charter and scheduled flights: Costa cruise passengers will receive boarding passes for all flights through to their final destination, and will also be able to drop off their luggage at the departure airport and have it brought to their cabin on board the ship.

At Warnemunde-Rostock airport, on the evening before disembarkation, cruise passengers will be able to drop off their luggage and get their boarding passes for the return flight while still on board the ship.