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May 16, 2008

Italian Upstart to Offer Cheap Flights

Air One
Image: Associated Press 

by Barbara S. Peterson

If high prices are making you think twice about traveling to Europe this year, here's one trick to ease the pain: Keep an eye out for airlines about to launch transatlantic service and grab one of their introductory fares before they vanish.

Soon to arrive on our shores is an Italian upstart line, Air One. While hardly a household name outside Europe, it's no puddle jumper, either: It operates several hundred flights a day with a narrow body fleet of nearly 60 planes, connecting Italian hubs like Milan and Rome with other cities in Italy and in Europe. When the financially ailing Alitalia scaled down its Milan presence several months ago, Air One smelled an opportunity--the carrier will roll out its first U.S. flights from the northern Italian hub next month. Starting June 14, Air One will fly five times a week between Milan and Boston (Tuesdays and Thursdays off), followed by daily (except Wednesday) Milan-Chicago flights as of June 21.  You'll need to act fast if you want a bargain: A promotional fare of $799 round trip will be valid for flights booked before June 14; after that the fare will rise to just over $900. Air One also has low connecting fares to other cities like Rome and Naples. Note: The carrier has inked code-share deals with United and US Airways so you can earn or use miles interchangeably.

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Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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