Air One

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Not to be confused with Air 1.
Air One
Air One Logo.svg
IATA
AP
ICAO
ADH
Callsign
HERON
Founded 1983 (as Aliadriatica)
Ceased operations 30 October 2014 (planned)
Operating bases
Frequent-flyer program MilleMiglia
Fleet size 10
Destinations 34
Company slogan Air One, my number one.
Parent company Alitalia
Headquarters Fiumicino, Rome, Italy
Website flyairone.com

Air One S.p.A., operating as Air One "Smart Carrier", is Alitalia's low cost carrier subsidiary whose operating bases are located in Catania-Fontanarossa Airport, Palermo Falcone–Borsellino Airport, Pisa Airport and Venice Marco Polo Airport.[1] It will cease operations on 30 October 2014[2] as part of the new concept of its parent-company Alitalia based on their new partnership with Etihad Airways.

Before the merger with Alitalia, Air One was a competitor, the second largest airline in Italy, with a network to 36 destinations in Italy, Europe and North America. Its main bases were Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Linate Airport in Milan and Turin Airport,[3] each equipped with a dedicated Air One Lounge named Sala Welcome, which still exist and can be used by Alitalia customers today.

History[edit]

An Air One Boeing 737-300 landing at Fiumicino Airport Italy. (2008)

First years[edit]

Air One began life as Aliadriatica which was established in Pescara in 1983 to operate as a flying school and provide air-taxi services and later regional scheduled services. In 1988 Gruppo Toto, one of the leading building and civil engineering groups in Italy, became the majority shareholder. With the acquisition of its first Boeing 737-200 in June 1994, Aliadriatica started scheduled and charter operations. On 27 April 1995 Aliadriatica began scheduled flights between Milan (Linate) and Brindisi and Reggio Calabria and Lamezia Terme.

On 23 November 1995, the new name Air One was adopted and the airline began operating scheduled flights between Rome and Milan. In 1996, the first full year of operations, 713,000 passengers were carried and the airline expanded rapidly thereafter.

In the year 2000 Air One announced a partnership with Lufthansa and nearly all Air One flights became code-shared with Lufthansa.

As from June 2006, regional destinations were served under the name Air One CityLiner with the brand new fleet of Bombardier CRJ-900's.[3]

In 2007, Air One carried approximately 5.5 million passengers (scheduled and charter), thus becoming the second largest Italian airline in terms of passenger traffic. 2007 revenues totaled EUR750 million with a net profit of EUR6.8 million.

Merger with Alitalia[edit]

In August 2008, it was announced that Air One was to be merged with Alitalia.[4] On 13 January 2009, Air One officially became part of Alitalia, though the two airlines were to be combined into one over time. A detailed integration plan was at that time yet to be announced.

On 28 March 2009, due to the merger with Alitalia, the cooperation between Lufthansa's Miles & More and Air One ended.[5] On 28 June 2009, also due to the Alitalia merger, the partnerships with United Airlines' Mileage Plus program and Air Canada's Aeroplan program ended.[6]

Later in 2009, the Alitalia and Air One booking procedures were unified so that the airlines effectively became the same.

Air One "Smart Carrier" - Low Cost subsidiary[edit]

Air One Airbus A320-200 in Frankfurt

On 28 March 2010, Air One Smart Carrier as a separate brand from Alitalia began operating low-cost flights out of Milan Malpensa Airport. Nine domestic and five international destinations were initially served, using five Airbus A320's painted in the Air One livery and formatted to 180 seats.[7]

In its first full quarter of operations, Air One Smart Carrier transported 320 000 passengers, with an on-time performance of 89%.[8]

On 2 February 2011, Air One Smart Carrier announced that, in the Summer 2011 season, it would expand its operations at Milan Malpensa and also open a new base at Pisa Airport. The base opened on 1 July 2011.[9] Air One Smart Carrier predicted it would carry 1,6 million passengers in 2011, compared to 0,9 million in 2010, and a new website was also launched.

On 21 December 2011, Air One Smart Carrier announced a new base at Venice Marco Polo Airport, with flights starting in May 2012. On 1 October 2012, operations commenced at Air One Smart Carrier's new base in Catania Fontanarossa Airport, the fourth base. In September 2013 the opening of a fifth base at Palermo Falcone-Borsellino Airport was announced with flights to commence in March 2014 including a new route to London Gatwick Airport, a destination not served by Air One since the ending of flights from Milan Malpensa Airport.

On 26 October 2013, Air One closed its operating base in Milan Malpensa Airport and announced a new base at Palermo Falcone–Borsellino Airport. The flights from Palermo started in March 2014.

On 26 August 2014, it has been announced that parent-company Alitalia will shut Air One down by autumn 2014. All routes from Catania, Palermo and Venice will cease on 30 September 2014 while all remaining services from Milan, Verona and Pisa will be terminated one month later, on 30 October 2014.[2]

Destinations[edit]

Main article: Air One destinations

Fleet[edit]

As of June 2014, the Air One S.C. fleet consists of the following aircraft, in all-economy configuration:

Air One S.C. fleet
Aircraft In Fleet Passengers
Airbus A320-200 10 180
Total 10

The Air One S.C. fleet has an average fleet age of 4.1 years.[10]

Fleet history[edit]

Over the years, Air One has operated the following aircraft types:[11]

Air One Historical Fleet
Aircraft Introduced Retired
Airbus A320 2006
Airbus A330-200 2008 2009
Boeing 737-200 1993 2008
Boeing 737-300 1995 2010
Boeing 737-400 1997 2010
Boeing 737-800 2002 2004

The Air One fleet progression over the years:

  • In January 2006, the airline signed a contract with Airbus for 30 Airbus A320s and 60 options, reportedly worth billion at list prices, to replace the carrier's leased fleet of Boeing 737-400s.[12]
  • The airline received the first of three Avro RJ70 aircraft wet leased from Transwede Airways. This aircraft is now being used by Alitalia on the Milan Linate-London City route.
  • White Eagle Aviation, of Poland, acquired a single ATR 42 on lease and placed it into service on a long-term Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance (ACMI) contract with Air One flying domestic Italian passenger routes.[13]
  • In February 2007, Air One announced the conversion of 10 Airbus A320 options into firm orders, bringing its total order for the type to 40 firm, as well as 25 options and 25 purchase rights.[14]
  • In May 2007, the airline announced the conversion of options and purchase rights for 50 Airbus A320s into firm orders, bringing its commitment to the type to 90 aircraft. By 2012 Air One expected to operate flights to 35 destinations in Europe, rather than the 9 which were served at that time.[15]
  • In June 2008, the airline ordered 24 planes from Airbus for 4.8 billion dollars. Air One also had an option to buy another 20 planes for 3.8 billion dollars, Carlo Toto told a news conference. The order of the 24 planes includes 12 Airbus A330's and 12 A350's.[16] These will now fall into the hands of Alitalia, for use on intercontinental routes out of Malpensa (A330), and increase in long-haul capacity, and then for replacing the Boeing 767's, which Alitalia currently uses in addition to newer Boeing 777's (which won't be replaced by the A330, although they may be replaced by the A350's on order).

Trivia[edit]

  • "Air One" is a portmanteau of the English meaning Air One and the Italian word 'airone', meaning heron (the bird depicted in the logo), which is also the airline's callsign.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Air One at Wikimedia Commons