CAI First

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CAI First
Alitalia Express
Logo Alitalia express.png
Founded 1 October 1997
Ceased operations 31 December 2008 (merged with Air One CityLiner to form Alitalia CityLiner)
Hubs Linate Airport
Frequent-flyer program MilleMiglia
Airport lounge Alitalia VIP lounges
Alliance SkyTeam
Destinations was 12 in 6 country
Parent company Alitalia
Headquarters Rome, Italy
Key people Berardino Libonati

CAI First, formerly known as Alitalia Express S.p.A., was a regional airline based in Rome, Italy and a wholly owned subsidiary of Alitalia. It operated regional scheduled and charter services on behalf of Alitalia. Its main bases were Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport, Rome, and Malpensa International Airport, Milan.[1] Since the Alitalia / Air One merger, Alitalia Express was formally renamed "CAI-First" and currently operates flights on behalf of Alitalia from Milan Linate Airport[2]


The airline was established and started operations on 1 October 1997. It was founded from the defunct Avianova. In March 2003 it was reported that Alitalia was considering taking over Minerva Airlines which had suspended flight operations and transferring the turboprop fleet of Alitalia Express to Minerva Airlines. This did not happen and in September 2004 Alitalia announced plans to acquire twelve additional Embraer E-170 aircraft for Alitalia Express.[citation needed] This did not happen, either.

Air One and Alitalia merger[edit]

In December 2008, Compagnia Aerea Italiana (CAI) took over Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane and Air One, merging the two companies together to create the "new Alitalia". With the take over, CAI also received Alitalia Express and Air One CityLiner. The Alitalia Express brand has been phased out and the regional arm of Alitalia is now Alitalia CityLiner by rebranding Air One CityLiner. The recent fleet of Alitalia Express (10 Embraer 170LR) was completely phased out by March 2013. Only one Airbus A320 from mainline Alitalia is now in the fleet (EI-DSC) to preserve the slots.



Alitalia Express currently has one Airbus A320 registered with Alitalia Express in order to maintain existing slots at Milan Linate Airport. Despite the fact that a plane is registered with Alitalia Express, the company is effectively closed: no plane is in Alitalia Express livery, the website is closed, and all flights with the XM code are in code-share agreement with the mainline. The aircraft assigned to work for XM is operating for Alitalia and has the Alitalia's livery.

Fleet history[edit]

An Alitalia Express Embraer E170-100LR taxiing at Düsseldorf International Airport, Germany. (2008)

Over the years, Alitalia Express has operated the following aircraft types:[3]

Alitalia Express Historical Fleet
Aircraft Introduced Retired
ATR 42-300 1996 2007
ATR 72-212 1996 2008
ATR 72-500 1999 2008
Embraer ERJ 145LR 2000 2008
Embraer E-Jet 170LR 2004 2012


External links[edit]