gategroup has signed a long-term contract with Italian airline Alitalia to offer catering services for domestic and international flights from Rome.

Under the contract, gategroup’s subsidiary Gate Gourmet Italy will operate an 8,000m2 facility at the Fiumicino hub, which currently operates 16 long-haul flights and 189 short and medium-haul flights per day.

gategroup’s chief commercial officer Federico Germani said: “Both our companies share a passion for enhancing and improving the customer experience, which is further amplified by the rich culinary heritage of Italy.

“The desire to develop and improve every aspect of the service officering was key to the successful, swift and seamless set up of the new facility.

“Their culinary excellence, innovative new concepts and retail experience enable us to accelerate the change process.”

“We are honoured to have been able to meet Alitalia’s high culinary standards as part of enhancing the customer experience.”

The agreement complements the firms’ previous partnership, which was established in December last year to develop and execute a catering model for flights departing from other Alitalia locations.

Alitalia’s chief product officer (CPO) Valerio Dal Monte said: “The choice of Gate Gourmet was based on its ability to support Alitalia achieve its strategic targets of increasing customer satisfaction and logistical efficiency.

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“Their culinary excellence, innovative new concepts and retail experience enable us to accelerate the change process.”

In April this year, gategroup signed a catering contract with Air Canada to extend the existing partnership between the companies for three more years.