Vueling’s Rome expansion designed to help push Alitalia over the edge?

Alitalia will face the biggest challenge from Vueling’s ‘massive’ new base.

Alitalia will face the biggest challenge from Vueling’s ‘massive’ new base. easyJet will also feel the heat of increased competition as Vueling launches service on 11 of its existing Rome routes.

Vueling has revealed plans to expand massively its presence at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport next summer, with the introduction of 24 new routes (seven domestic and 17 international) and the decision to base a total of eight Airbus aircraft at the airport. Of the 24 new destinations to be served only three (all in Spain) are not already served by one or more carriers (based on schedule data for June 2013). A summary of the new services and likely competition next summer, is shown in the following table.

Launch date Route (Code) Country WF in S14 Airlines serving these routes in July 2013 (WF)
2 April Alicante (ALC) Spain 3
25 June Amsterdam (AMS) Netherlands 7 KLM (35), Alitalia (21), easyJet (8)
10 June Athens (ATH) Greece 14 Alitalia (28), AegeanAirlines (13), easyJet (7)
25 June Bari (BRI) Italy 14 Alitalia (50)
25 June Berlin (TXL) Germany 7 airberlin (14), Lufthansa (7), easyJet (6 to SXF)
13 June Brindisi (BDS) Italy 7 Alitalia (39)
24 April Brussels (BRU) Belgium 14 Alitalia (21), Brussels Airlines (20)
11 May Catania (CTA) Italy 28 Alitalia (98), blu-express (16), Meridiana (12)
25 June Corfu (CFU) Greece 2 blu-express (3), easyJet (3)
19 June Dubrovnik (DBV) Croatia 4 easyJet (6), CroatiaAirlines (2)
17 September Genoa (GOA) Italy 21 Alitalia (42)
tbc Heraklion (HER) Greece 2 easyJet (3), blu-express (2)
25 June Lamezia Terme (SUF) Italy 7 Alitalia (49)
tbc Malta (MLA) Malta 3 Air Malta (10), Alitalia (7), easyJet (4)
13 June Munich (MUC) Germany 7 Lufthansa (42), Alitalia (14)
22 June Mykonos (JMK) Greece 4 easyJet (6), blu-express (5), Meridiana (1)
10 June Palermo (PMO) Italy 28 Alitalia (83), blu-express (14), easyJet (13)
16 June Prague (PRG) Czech Republic 7 Czech Airlines (9), SmartWings (6), Wizz Air (3), Alitalia (2)
18 June Rhodes (RHO) Greece 2 Alitalia (2), blu-express (2)
21 June Santiago de Compostela (SCQ) Spain 2
23 June Santorini (JTR) Greece 3 blu-express (5), easyJet (2)
20 June Seville (SVQ) Spain 3
18 June Split (SPU) Croatia 5 Croatia Airlines (7),easyJet (6)
17 September Turin (TRN) Italy 28 Alitalia (51)
Source: Vueling press release and Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 10 June 2013

Vueling’s CEO Alex Cruz was in Rome earlier this week to announce the airline’s major expansion plans for its base at Rome Fiumicino Airport. Eight aircraft will be based there next summer, operating over 30 routes, including seven domestic routes on which it will face direct competition from a struggling Alitalia.

Alitalia will face the biggest challenge as it is the dominant carrier on all seven of the domestic routes, on five of which it currently has a monopoly. easyJet will also feel the heat of increased competition as Vueling launches service on 11 of its existing Rome routes. These new routes will generate over 200 weekly departures, or about 30 daily departures.

Vueling’s nine years of operation at FCO: 13 routes started, five dropped

Vueling first began serving Rome in December 2004 when it began flights from its Barcelona base. Over the following years it has served the Italian capital from a total of 10 Spanish airports (Barcelona, Bilbao, Granada, Ibiza, Madrid, Malaga, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca, Seville and Valencia) as well as Nantes, Paris CDG and Paris Orly, a total of 13 airports. The history of Vueling’s operations at Rome Fiumicino are summarised in the following table.

Year Event Destinations served in August of each year
2004 First service from Barcelona (3 December)
2005 First service from Bilbao (27 March); Bilbao service ends (2 October); First service from Madrid (15 November) 2 (BCN, BIO)
2006 First service from Seville (29 October) 2 (BCN, MAD)
2007 First service from Paris CDG (15 May); First service from Malaga (28 October); First service from Granada (29 October) 4 (BCN, CDG, MAD, SVQ)
2008 Granada service ends (6 September) 6 (AGP, BCN, CDG, GRX, MAD, SVQ)
2009 First service from Ibiza (1 July); Paris flights moved from CDG to ORY (9 July); First service from Valencia (12 July) 7 (AGP, BCN, IBZ, MAD, ORY, SVQ, VLC)
2010 First service from Palma de Mallorca (14 September) 7 (AGP, BCN, IBZ, MAD, ORY, SVQ, VLC)
2011 Seville service ends (26 March); First service from Menorca (25 June) 8 (AGP, BCN, IBZ, MAD, MAH, ORY, PMI, VLC)
2012 First service from Nantes (25 March); Regular Madrid service ends* (9 April) 8 (AGP, BCN, IBZ, MAH, NTE, ORY, PMI, VLC)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi and * Still served at certain times of the year, such as Christmas. AGP – Malaga, BCN – Barcelona, IBZ – Ibiza, MAH – Menorca, NTE – Nantes, ORY – Paris Orly, PMI – Palma de Mallorca, VLC – Valencia.

These existing routes generate around 90 weekly departures from Rome. The 24 new routes will result in Vueling operating well over 300 weekly flights in total, more than trebling the airline’s presence at the airport.


  1. This move is pretty impressive and I’m sure will bring some welcome competition and cheaper lead-in fares, especially on routes where Alitalia have a monopoly.

  2. Compliments on your good reporting. Best
    Leslie Cassar
    Managing Director
    World Aviation Group

  3. Gabriel says:

    Finally! For the first time there will be regular flights between Alicante and Rome!

  4. Marco says:

    It’s gonna be tough for Alitalia.
    Smells like a sweet Sansavini revenge

  5. Arthur Dent says:

    And now Ryanair has announced it will start flights from FCO from late December. Plans to base 12 aircraft there by September 2014, but still keep CIA base open as well. No wonder Air France / KLM don’t want to help Alitalia out any longer. Let’s see where we are 12 months from now. Great news (in the short term?) for FCO airport …

  6. Klausenburg says:

    And also Ryanair will launch the first business flight from FCO-BRU. I think this signs a little change of strategy at RYR and I hope I will read here an analysis about this.

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