A row over US airline access to Milan’s downtown airport Linate has prevented Eurofly from launching an all-business-class service to New York using an Airbus A319, writes Pino Modola.

The new service between Linate and New York Kennedy – operated by a 48-seat A319 – was due to start on 8 May and all seats had been sold. But the US Department of Transportation (DoT) has barred the airline from serving Kennedy.

The DoT says the move was on the grounds of discrimination against US airlines, which are not allowed to serve Linate because all long-haul services must operate to Malpensa airport, north of Milan.

To allow Eurofly’s Linate-New York services to start, the USA wants a reciprocal deal to provide US airlines with codeshare rights to operate the same route.

The only long-haul flights permitted from Linate are general aviation and executive operations, so Eurofly planned to operate the service on behalf of a private organisation – “the MiMa Club” – in an attempt to beat the ban. Eurofly says it will try to overcome the decision, but the operation remains suspended.

The A319 has 48 Recaro seats at 58in (147cm) pitch, equipped with LCD widescreen displays. The return fare, with limousine airport transfers, is priced at €3,400 ($4,400).

Source: Flight International