Alitala Tops Among European Airlines For On-Time Performance

Alitalia, Italy’s National Flag Carrier, has been called many things over the years, but ‘On Time‘ has never been one of those things.

Alitala is well known for labour disputes, strikes, customer dissatisfaction and an on-time performance record that generally rivals my attempts to wake my kids up most mornings … so imagine my surprise when viewing the January 2010 on-time performance record, as reported by the Association of European Airlines, only to discover that Alitalia’s on-time performance was the best of the major airlines in Europe.

Alitalia achieved an on-time statistic of 84.3% of all flights throughout the month of January, besting competitors including Lufthansa, SAS (the #3 most on-time airline globally in 2009), SWISS, Air France, KLM, Virgin Atlantic and a well … everyone else.

I hope Alitalia can keep this level of service up … and I cannot believe I am saying this but … Bravo Alitalia.

Happy Flying!


  1. I’m booking a trip to Moscow in July and am considering Alitalia from Toronto. What is Magnifica Class like on the 767-300/400? There is almost no recent information on Alitalia’s Magnifica Class, and the older material is certainly not very complimentary. I’ve flown AC, LH and AF across the pond in business class and would be interested to hear some thoughts from folks.


  2. Arthur,

    Alitalia’s 767’s are all 767-300s, and the Magnifica Class is a bit dated, but its not all that bad. Alitalia claims the angled lay-flat seats are 180º, but I think they may be closer to 175º because they don’t seem perfectly flat. Last time I checked, which is about two years ago (and the 763 Magnifica Class has not been updated since then) there was no in-seat power on the 763 aircraft, but there is obviously a personal screen with a selection of videos for biz-class pax.

    I have flown AC, LH, AF business class as well, logging probably the most long hauls with AF, flying between North America to Europe and Asia and Europe, and while AF has angled lay flat seats as well, I find their seats and amenities superior to Alitalia. Lufthansa’s business class is excellent, and Air Canada’s is quite good as well. If you are looking for preferred comfort, a better lounge experience, an arrivals lounge for business passengers and a superior customer service experience … while racking up SkyTeam miles I might suggest you look at Air France.

    Happy Flying!


  3. Hello Fish:

    Thanks for the reply. I have booked the flight on Alitalia because the one-way fare was too good to pass up. My understanding is that Alitalia has recently acquired some 767-400s and is using them on premium North American routes, such as YYZ, JFK and ORD. Indeed, the aircraft type came up as “764” when I purchased my ticket, and a couple of aviation forums confirm this. However, despite listing “764” in the itinerary, the “Fleet” section of Alitalia’s website does not show that aircraft. I wonder if there are any differences in the seat plans or seats, given the aircraft came from somewhere else (DL, I think).

    Thanks again,

  4. Arthur,

    Alitalia used to operate two different Boeing 767-300 cabins. These cabins were known as 762 & 764. The 762 cabin has been phased out and only the 764 cabin remains, although it operates on a 763.

    Presently Alitalia only operates six Boeing 767s, all are -300 variants of the 767 aircraft. These aircraft are the following
    EI-CRF – 767-31BER (Frame #542)
    EI-CRD – 767-3Q8ER (Frame #534)
    EI-DBP – 767-35HER (Frame #459)
    EI-DDW – 767 – 3S1ER (Frame #559)
    EI-DEIG – 767-33AER (Frame #603)
    EI-CRM – 767-343ER (Frame #746)

    Happy Flying!


  5. Thanks, Fish – I did a bit more digging, and discovered a lot of confusion over this. I was wrong initially, and you are correct.

    Very difficult to find information on the “new” Magnifica Class. Very quickly – what type of business class seat does it have? How about IFE? I have read that it is provided by portable DVD player.

    Thanks again,

  6. Hi Fish:

    Does Magnifica Class in the 767 have noise-cancelling headphones? If yes, are they permanent? Reason I ask is that I would love to get a pair of the new Bose Quiet Comfort 15s, but some of my recent experience has shown the First Class cabin on Lufthansa and Business Class cabin on Air France have permanent headphones – the cable is anchored to the seat. I can’t see how you could use third party headphones. I only listen to music on flights – no movies – so it’s a pretty big deal for me.


  7. Questionabout getting thru customs in FCO and your baggage off the plane. How bad from a time standpoint is it. I am flying AA out of Chicago arriving at 914am and need to take the train into the city to catch a 12noon train to Naples. I would like to think I can be out of customs with my checked bag in 1hr. What is your experience with Rome baggage claim lately and customs?

  8. Steve,

    Honestly … my opinion is this, there is almost no way you’ll deplane, get your checked baggage, clear immigrations and catch a noon train from Termini Station in Rome. I believe the Express Train from FCO to Termini Station takes 30 minutes and runs every 30 minutes. If you miss the express by 1 minute, then you need to allow 59 minutes to get to Termini Station where your train to Naples is likely to be leaving from.

    You’ll need to catch a later train to Naples. The high speed Frecciarossa trains runs frequently throughout the day between Rome and Naples, you might want to shoot for the 2:00pm train.

    Happy Flying!


  9. So, my husband and I are flying from Newark to Rome on
    Alitalia, our first experience with the airline. I am reading horror stories, but they seem to focus on the bad food, unhappy crew, and shappy cabins – not unheard of, certainly, on many domestic flights we’ve taken in the past year. I checked the flight details and see that the plane is an A330-200, which I assume is a new generation of the A330. Comments on the current state of Alitalia, please.

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