Rome, March 8 - Italian flagship carrier Alitalia is celebrating International Women's Day with all-female-operated flights from Rome to Milan and back. The first of two Airbus A-320 flights piloted and attended exclusively by women, flight AZ 2028, took off Friday morning from Rome's Fiumicino airport at 9:00 am local time. Again at 11.00 am, AZ 2045 from Milan Linate returned to Rome. Both routes were in the hands of commander Barbara Plantulli Lambert, co-pilot Valentina Leone and three flight attendants Giovanna Ruiu, Francesca Anzil and Matilde Marcelli. "What does this particular day mean? It is an encouragement for all women to fly high and fast because we can," Lambert said. All boarding women passengers were given a sprig of mimosa flower, the symbol of Women's Day in Italy. In addition, all crew wore a badge provided by the Italian emergency hotline Telefono Rosa to raise attention for the issue of violence against women. "Today's initiative is just one part of Alitalia's broad Corporate Social Responsibility program," the company said.