USA flights will rise to three per week, operating Milan (Malpensa) ’ New York ’ Chicago on Wednesdays, Milan ’ Chicago on Saturdays, and Milan ’ New York on Sundays.

Flights to Hong Kong will also increase to three-times-weekly. Tuesday services will route via a new destination, Sharjah, while Thursday and Saturday services will continue to transit Dubai. All inbound flights will maintain their technical stop in Almaty.

Says Commercial Director Roberto Gilardoni: ‘The increase in US services is in direct response to demand. The market was understandably cautious about our operation following the termination of’ Italian freighter operations in 2008. But we have proven that we are a totally new airline, we have demonstrated our reliability and commitment, and the market has responded with strong support. We are now the only carrier providing direct maindeck capacity from New York to Milan.’

He continues: ‘We have also had very positive feedback on our Hong Kong services. The extra flight via Sharjah ties in well with our US-Italy services, providing the US market with efficient transfers to Iraq and Afghanistan.’

He concludes: ‘Provision of a high-quality service is fundamental to our business model. Our plan was always to progressively step up our operations, in order to ensure that our equipment, staff and systems were fully bedded-in without the pressure of high utilisation. This policy has worked very well.

‘We are improving our on-time performance every month, and our results to date prove that we are now fully ready to move up a gear - which will enable us to provide a wider range of services to our customers, and to achieve much higher revenues without increasing overheads.’

Cargoitalia will take delivery of its next aircraft (a third MD-11SF) in June 2010, with further fleet expansion already planned up to 2014.