Rome, October 26 - Low-cost airline EasyJet on Friday hailed a decision by the Italian competition authority AGCM to award it the rights to fly on the key route between Rome and Milan, describing its as a ''milestone'' for the free market. Until now Italy's flagship carrier Alitalia has had the monopoly on services between the country's political capital and its financial and economic centre. ''EasyJet is proud to have obtained the rights to operate on the Milan Linate- Rome-Fiumicino route,'' said Italy country director Frances Ouseley. ''This decision represents a milestone for the free market as it favours customers first and foremost,'' she continued. ''EasyJet has proved again and again that entering a new market means bringing in competition, lowering fares and enabling more people to travel on the route. We look forward to welcoming passengers onboard when we start to operate". The decision to award the low-cost carrier rights on the Rome-Milan route comes after ACGM found there to be ''a lack of proper competition between rail and air transport'' and that Alitalia was running a monopoly. The authority ordered the Italian flag carrier to give up seven of its slots. EasyJet has said it will operate five services a day between the two airports from early 2013.