Neos Launches Palermo-New York Route with Boeing 787 Dreamliner

By Ivan PetrenkoJun 25, 2024 15:30 PMNews
a large jetliner sitting on top of an airport tarmac
a large jetliner sitting on top of an airport tarmac. Source: unsplash

Neos has launched the only direct US connection from Southern Italy with its new route between Palermo and New York JFK, utilizing a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. This seasonal service, starting on June 8, aims to cater to both leisure and business travelers, tapping into the strong Italian American community in the US.

Route Details

The new service operates twice weekly, with the flights scheduled as follows:

  • Palermo to New York JFK: Departing on Monday and Saturday
  • New York JFK to Palermo: Returning on Tuesday and Sunday

The Boeing 787-9 used on this route is equipped with 359 seats, including 28 premium economy, 36 "economy extra plus," and 295 economy class seats. Two of the six 787-9 aircraft in Neos' fleet have a slightly reduced capacity of 355 seats. The aircraft has primarily been operated by EI-NEA since the route's inception, though other aircraft configurations may be used in the future.

Strategic Shift and Market Demand

Neos’ new Palermo-New York route represents a strategic shift from purely leisure-focused destinations to include business traffic as well. The airline’s CEO, Carlo Stradiotti, emphasized the importance of this new direction during the route's launch, highlighting the significant potential for business travel and cargo transport.

Booking data from 2023 indicates a demand of approximately 45,000 roundtrip passengers between Palermo and New York, with Neos aiming to fly about 20,000 passengers on the route over the summer. This is supported by strong advance bookings, reflecting a positive outlook for the service’s success.

Enhancing the Network

This new route also complements Neos' existing transatlantic services from Milan Malpensa to New York JFK and Toronto. The Palermo flights are interlinked with the Milan-New York route, utilizing the same Dreamliner aircraft for a seamless connection. This efficient use of aircraft resources underscores Neos' strategic planning in expanding its network.

The introduction of this route marks a significant step in enhancing connectivity between Southern Italy and the US. Neos has announced plans to increase the frequency of this route to three times weekly for the summer of 2025, indicating confidence in growing demand.

Historical Context

The Palermo-New York route has a rich history, previously operated by Alitalia and later by Eurofly. The route was suspended in the mid-1990s and briefly revived in 2005 before being discontinued again in 2017. Neos’ reintroduction of this direct connection highlights its commitment to serving this historically significant market.

Salvatore Burrafato, President of Palermo Airport's operator Gesap, expressed optimism about the route, emphasizing its cultural and economic significance for Sicily. The return of this flight is seen as a crucial opportunity for promoting tourism and strengthening ties between Italy and the US.

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