Lufthansa to unveil new 'Italia' A319 operation

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Lufthansa is formally to unveil a new Italian division, branded Lufthansa Italia, tomorrow which will begin operating from the north of the country next year.

It will conduct services under an Italian air operator's certificate and use a fleet of six Airbus A319 aircraft.

First flights will be operated to Paris Charles de Gaulle and Barcelona from 2 February, followed by routes to Brussels, Budapest, Bucharest and Madrid a month later.

The network will be further extended to London Heathrow and Lisbon in March 2009, ahead of the summer schedule.

lh italia a319

 © Lufthansa

Lufthansa had already disclosed plans to establish a strong presence at Milan Malpensa with A319s - operated by partner Air Dolomiti - having amended an earlier strategy to station Embraer 195s at the airport.

"We will be offering our Italian customers an extensive route network from northern Italy to attractive destinations in Europe," says Lufthansa chief Wolfgang Mayrhuber.

"Lufthansa Italia will position us in an important market characterised by strong demand, which also holds out opportunities for buoyant growth in the future."