Italian flag-carrier Alitalia has identified a series of new routes which the airline intends to open, starting next year.

The expansion will include intercontinental links to Los Angeles, Shanghai, Seoul and Rio de Janeiro. It will also feature European connections to Berlin, Zurich, Vienna, Prague and Malaga.

SkyTeam partner Alitalia has detailed the increased network at a briefing in Rome Fiumicino to illustrate its future plans.

The airline serves 69 destinations - comprising 22 long-haul, 24 European and 23 domestic - from the capital airport which it will increase to 78 by 2013.

Fiumicino is the main base of six from which Alitalia operates, following the carrier's rescue and restructuring, which has included integration with Air One.

Its Rome operation comprises 99 aircraft, among them a long-haul fleet of seven Boeing 777s, five 767s and two Airbus A330s.

The airline's fleet renewal is progressing with the arrival on 15 May of its fourth new Airbus A320, to be used mainly on Rome-Milan Linate shuttle services. A fifth is due to arrive by the end of this month, and nine other aircraft will be introduced by the end of this year.

By 2013 the carrier will have 90 A320s, of which 30 are already in service, and will expand its fleet of two A330s to 14.

Alitalia is also intending to develop a terminal dedicated exclusively to SkyTeam, in co-operation with Rome's airport operator. This, it says, will allow it to offer an "integrated service" and reach "new standards of quality".

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news