Brazil's low-cost airline Azul and Italian flag carrier Alitalia have announced a codeshare agreement which will allow smoother connections for customers of both airlines, due to take effect on 2 December.
“Alitalia is always looking for new partners who can offer our passengers the best travel experience,” says Fabio Maria Lazzerini, commercial vice-president of Alitalia says in a statement on 14 November. “This new cooperation agreement significantly increases our presence in Brazil, an important market with great growth opportunity for the airline, mainly due to the strong presence of the Italian community.”
Earlier this month, Azul announced a joint venture with Portuguese flag carrier TAP Air Portugal as it looks to gain a greater foothold in the transatlantic travel market. The codeshare tie-up with the Italian airline also supports this goal.
“Alitalia customers will be able to connect to Azul's more than 100 domestic destinations, more than half of which are exclusively served by Azul,” the Brazilian airline's vice president of revenue Abhi Shah says.
Alitalia is in the midst of a labor disagreement with its pilots and cabin crew, as it struggles to secure investment and capital to turn the failing airline around. A group of investors and the Italian government are in talks to develop a plan for the loss-making carrier, but several hurdles, such as disagreements over how much capital to inject, have still to be overcome.