Italy – the country that brought us pizza, pasta and plenty of cultural touchstones over the past few decades. With its storied cities and stunning landscapes, it is considered a dream destination by travelers all over the world, particularly during this time of pandemic-enforced grounding. However, that dream is set to become a reality.
Neos Airlines, the second-largest Italian airline behind Alitalia, is set to offer American travelers a way to visit Italy by mid-June this year. Here’s everything we know about the move, plus a look at the Covid-19 situation in Italy at present.
Neos Airlines – Information For Travelers
Based out of Lombardy, Italy, Neos Airlines is a large Italian airline that boasts more than 73 different routes to a mixture of domestic, European and intercontinental destinations, including far-flung locations such as Senegal, Thailand and Madagascar. The airline currently has 14 different types of aircraft at their disposal; six Boeing 737-800W (Winglet), two Boeing 737-8 and six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner airplanes.
A low-cost airline by trade, Neos carried more than 2 million passengers in 2019 – before the pandemic decimated the travel industry – and recently joined the IATA Travel Pass program. This means that it will soon have the capability to carry passengers using vaccine passports, which could spell further success for the airline down the line.
Neos To Operate US-Italy Flights – What Travelers Should Know
American travelers hoping to visit Italy were handed some good news at the end of April. It was announced last week that Neos Airlines has received permission from the US Department of Transport to put on flights that will connect New York’s JFK airport with Milan-Malpensa airport, located around 50km north-east of the bustling city of Milan. Flights will be Covid-tested, in order to keep the risk of spreading Covid-19 in either country to a minimum.
Speaking about the move, Carlo Stradiotti – the CEO of Neos – said:
“The launch of Milan-New York service is a milestone for us, an opportunity for business growth and to expand connections between Italy and the US. With this first American route, we will offer a new travel experience to the U.S. traveler, based on Italian style, wellness and the most advanced aircraft. In 2022, we plan to increase New York flights, and to add additional US gateways.”
The schedule of the flights to and from New York has been released. Flights departing from JFK at 5:50 PM will arrive in Milan at 7:20 AM the following day, whilst departures from Milan leave at 12:20 PM and reach New York at 2:50 PM on the same day. The route is set to come into operation in the latter half of June, and will be serviced by a two-cabin Boeing 737-9 Dreamliner, which has 28 premium economy seats and a 331-seat economy cabin.
The move makes Italy the latest of several countries (like France) that have opened up to the idea of welcoming American travelers this summer.
Covid-19 In Italy
Italy suffered heavy case numbers towards the end of 2020 and, whilst the situation in Italy has improved – with a 7-day rolling average of daily cases that sits slightly above 12,000 – the country is still working hard to keep the situation under control. Domestically, six provinces remain in lockdown, whilst residents in the rest of the provinces are free to travel around. The country has recently made the decision to prolong quarantine for EU travelers until May 15th, and has also tightened rules for arrivals from India.
This morning, President of the EU commission Ursula von der Leyen, confirmed the commission has officially proposed to all Member States that they allow vaccinated tourists this summer. Specifically, the draft mentions allowing in third-party nationals for non-essential reasons, which could start as early as June if accepted by members.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com