Air Italy Adds Two New Routes To California (More Avios Redemptions)

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Air Italy is the airline formerly know as Meridiana and is the second largest Italian airline behind Alitalia. It is 49% owned by Qatar Airways (an Air Italy codeshare partner) and it operates primarily out of Milan Malpensa airport.

In its current guise the airline has only been on the scene since 1 March 2018 and, since then it has been doing a good job of building up its short-haul fleet (primarily with 737 MAX 8s) and adding to its long haul fleet too.

So far, in 2018, Air Italy has added routes to Bangkok, Delhi, Miami, Mumbai and New York and now the airline has announced that it will operate two new routes to California from next year.

Air Italy’s New California Routes

a map of the world

From 3 April 2019 Air Italy will operate a 4x/week service between Milan Malpensa and Los Angeles on the following schedule:

IG943 MXP 13:00 – 16:50 LAX (Mon, Wed, Fri & Sun)
IG944 LAX 18:50 – 15:55+1 day MXP (Mon, Wed, Fri & Sun)

From 10 April 2019 Air Italy will operate a 4x/week service between Milan Malpensa and San Francisco on the following schedule:

IG937 MXP 13:35 – 17:10 SFO (Tue, Wed, Thu & Sat)
IG938 SFO 19:10 – 16:05+1 day MXP (Tue, Wed, Thu & Sat)

Both routes will be operated by Air Italy Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

a white airplane on a runway
Image courtesy of Air Italy

Air Italy Airbus A330-200

If you’re flying long-haul with Air Italy you’re most likely going to be flying on its A330-200 aircraft which come in a two-cabin configuration:

  • 24 Business Class seats
  • 236 Economy Class seats

Business Class offers angle-flat seating which, although not ideal, is significantly better than some angle-flat seats you’ll encounter.

a seat in a plane
Air Italy A330-200 Business Class – Image Air Italy

The seats are 22″ wide and, from what I’ve been told by those who have tried these seats out, they’re actually pretty comfortable to sleep in.

They remind me a bit of the older Qatar Airways 777 seats which I tried out on, what was then, the world’s longest flight….

a seat in a plane
Qatar Airways 777-200LR Business Class

….and I had no real complaints at all.

In Economy Class there’s good news and bad news.

Thew good news is that he seats are 18″ wide and that makes them one of the widest seats you’ll find in transatlantic Economy Class.

The bad news is that most seats only offer 31″ of leg room and that’s no better than you’ll get on the likes of United, American, BA and Virgin Atlantic….but at least it’s not worse!

a row of seats in an airplane
Air Italy A330-200 Economy Class – Image Air Italy

Award Bookings

As well as partnering with its parent airline Qatar Airways, Air Italy also partners with British Airways and Iberia and it uses Avios as its own currency too.

Air Italy’s Award Chart (such as it is) shows that one-way Economy Class fares to Los Angeles and San Francisco cost 30,000 Avios while Business Class fares cost 60,000 Avios…but that’s for bookings using the airline’s own Avios.

Most TFM readers will probably have BA/Iberia Avios and award pricing for those is slightly different.

Economy Class awards will still cost 30,000 Avios but Business Class awards cost 90,000 Avios (+ reprehensible surcharges):

a screenshot of a flight ticket
Bottom Line

I like this news. Having more options between the West Coast and Europe is always going to be a good thing and the fact that this new option allows us to redeem a currency that readily available makes the news that much better.



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