Alitalia to open Rio de Janeiro route

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SkyTeam partner Alitalia is to open a new connection to Brazil with the introduction of flights to Rio de Janeiro from Rome.

The flights, which will begin on 4 June next year, will complement the Italian airline's Sao Paulo service.

Alitalia says the operation will be thrice-weekly initially, but the frequency will increase to four times per week from July 2011.

The carrier serves Sao Paulo seven-times weekly.

Alitalia will use three-class Airbus A330 aircraft on the Rio route. Under a fleet-renewal programme, Alitalia has taken delivery of two new A330s this year and others are to follow.

Its South American network also includes services to Buenos Aires and Caracas.