NJI begins BA franchise flights in Italy

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British Airways' Italian franchise carrier National Jet Italia (NJI) has commenced operations today, with the first flight leaving Rome bound for Palermo in Sicily.

NJI will initially operate a four-times daily service to Palermo, using two-class 94-seat British Aerospace BAe 146-300 aircraft.

The carrier will extend its network to include Catania this summer, and is planning to increase frequencies to eight-times daily. It is also looking to serve other southern Italian destinations.

Launch of services follows a long-running effort, between British Airways and Australian franchise carrier National Jet Systems' former CEO Warren Seymour, to establish the airline. NJI had originally been expected to begin operations early last year, but this plan was abandoned after the partners failed in an attempt to secure an air operator's certificate.