Charter evolution

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Milan-based operator Eurofly is setting its sights on strong long-haul growth as it continues its evolution from an in-house charter carrier into an independent leisure airline.

Eurofly has rapidly expanded since Alitalia divested the unit in 2003, exploiting opportunities in the charter market and developing its seat-only business to tap into the trend of consumers independently booking holidays. “Because independent travel is growing, we need to be able to capture this part of the market,” says Eurofly chief commercial officer Armando Brunini. “From a strategic point of view, the business focus is to evolve from pure charter to leisure, which means multi-channel [distribution].”

Pure charter activities still comprise the bulk of its flight operations, but Brunini points to a growing scheduled business. This has driven much of Eurofly’s recent and planned future growth is in its longer-haul operations – such as recent new services from New York Kennedy airport to Bologna, Naples and Palermo.

An indication of its intent to further grow in this sector is evident in it becoming the first Italian airline to commit to the new Airbus A350. It plans to take three around 2013. In the nearer term, it will lease two more Airbus A330s next year.