Meridiana

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Meridiana
MeridianaflyLogo.png
IATA
IG
ICAO
ISS
Callsign
MERIDIANA
Founded 29 March 1963 as Alisarda
Commenced operations 1964
Operating bases
Hubs Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport
Frequent-flyer program Meridiana Club
Subsidiaries Air Italy
Fleet size 21
Destinations 51
Company slogan Questo si chiama volare.
Headquarters Olbia, Italy
Key people
  • Marco Rigotti, President
  • Richard Creagh, CEO
Website meridiana.com

Meridiana, legally Meridiana fly S.p.A. and formerly operating as Meridiana fly, is a privately owned Italian airline headquartered in Olbia with its main base at Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport. It operates scheduled and charter flights to domestic, European and intercontinental destinations from several Italian bases. Some of its operations are carried out by its subsidiary Air Italy under the Meridiana brand.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The company was set up with the name of Alisarda on March 29, 1963 by Aga Khan Prince Karīm al-Hussaynī with the aim of promoting tourism in Sardinia. Scheduled flights commenced in 1964.

In 1989, 35% of new stock was released to new shareholders to strengthen the company and the name Meridiana was adopted on 3 May 1991. The first international services were operated later in 1991 to Barcelona, Paris, London and Frankfurt.

Merger with Eurofly to Meridiana fly[edit]

At the end of February 2010, Meridiana fly, the second largest carrier in Italy, was created by the merger of Eurofly, a company specialized in long-haul charter flights to holiday destinations, and Meridiana, a scheduled operator of national and European flights, with the primary objective of connecting the main Italian airports with Sardinia and Sicily.

In October 2011, Meridiana fly completely acquired Air Italy, an Italian charter airline which now operates entirely on behalf of Meridiana.

On 16 January 2013, the Board of Directors of Meridiana S.p.A. acknowledged the agreement for the purchase by Meridiana S.p.A. of all the Meridiana fly ordinary shares held by the former shareholders of Air Italy Holding S.r.l. Today the group is run by Meridiana S.p.A. Holding which controls 89% of Meridiana fly including 100% of Air Italy, the remaining part is quoted to the Milan Stock Exchange but a tender offer was recently launched to delist the company.

Redevelopment into the new Meridiana[edit]

In April 2013, when the Air Italy merger was completed, Meridiana Fly returned to its former, shorter name, Meridiana.[1] On 16 May, it launched the new frequent-flyer program Meridiana Club in partnership with Avios. In mid-2013, Meridiana offered national and international scheduled flights from the main Italian airports to Sardinia (Olbia, Alghero and Cagliari), Sicily and Naples as well as holiday destinations such as the Canary Islands, Greece and the Red Sea. It also serviced the long-haul destinations of the Maldives, Mauritius, Kenya, Zanzibar, Santo Domingo and Brazil mainly from Milan Malpensa and/or Rome Fiumicino.

In 2014, the airline continued to reposition its brand by launching international flights to Moscow Domodedovo, London Gatwick, Kiev, Tel Aviv and Nice from Naples and to Brussels, Geneva, London Gatwick, Tel Aviv, Nice, Hamburg, Paris CDG, Moscow Domodedovo and Kiev from Olbia; reconfirming its leadership in Sardinia and its focus on Naples, Catania, Milan Linate and Verona airport for domestic Italian flights.

On 18 November 2014 the Board of Directors appointed Richard Creagh as the new CEO and two board advisors, Colin Smith and Fabian Bachrach. Since that same date, Meridiana Club frequent flyers have been able to earn Avios points on British Airways flights and vice versa.

In December 2014, Meridiana retired its last Airbus aircraft, two A320-200s, to pursue the aim of operating an all Boeing fleet together with Air Italy.[2]

Destinations[edit]

Codeshare agreements[edit]

As of December 2014, Meridiana maintained codeshare agreements with Air Malta, Iberia and S7 Airlines.[3]

Fleet[edit]

Current fleet[edit]

Meridiana Boeing 737-700

As of April 2015, the Meridiana fleet consists of the following aircraft:[4]

Meridiana Fleet
Aircraft In fleet Orders Passengers Notes
F J Y Total
Boeing 737-300 2 148 148 operated by Air Italy
Boeing 737-700 3 5 149 149 operated by Air Italy
Boeing 737-800 3 5 189 189 operated by Air Italy
Boeing 767-200ER 1 12 241 253 operated by Air Italy
Boeing 767-300ER 2 18 258 276 operated by Air Italy
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 10 165 165 to be phased out[5]
Total 21 10

Historical fleet[edit]

Former Meridiana Airbus A319-100

Meridiana also used to operate the following aircraft types which have since been retired:

Meridiana Historical Fleet
Aircraft Introduced Retired
Airbus A319-100 2004 2013[6]
Airbus A320-200 2010 2014
Airbus A330-200 2010 2014
ATR 42-300 2009 2010
ATR 42-300QC 2001 2002
BAe 146-200 1991 2006
McDonnell Douglas MD-83 1997 2014

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Meridiana at Wikimedia Commons