Italy’s ambassador to the United States, Armando Varricchio, was among the dignitaries on hand for Alitalia’s inaugural flight from Rome to Dulles International Airport, as the Italian airline launched its nonstop service between the two capital cities.
Alitalia now flies nonstop between Dulles and Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino International airport five times a week, on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Washington flight departs at 4:15 p.m.
It is only the second airline to offer nonstop service from Washington to Rome. United Airlines operates seasonal nonstop service between the two cities.
“On the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, Alitalia’s new route between the two capitals of these great countries, partnered with the many other daily connections between our two countries, gives more Americans the opportunity to admire Italy’s beauty, its history and traditions, and more Italians to learn about this great nation and the history of the United States,” Varricchio said at Thursday’s welcoming ceremony.
The flight arrived on time, at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. The inaugural departing flight was delayed by afternoon thunderstorms.
Dulles now has 33 international carriers that offer 65 daily nonstop flights to nearly five dozen international destinations. Dulles had more than 8 million international passengers in 2018.