|Founded||29 March 1963 as Alisarda|
|Hubs||Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||Meridiana Club|
|Company slogan||Questo si chiama volare.|
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.
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
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
In April 2013, when the Air Italy merger was completed, Meridiana Fly returned to its former, shorter name, Meridiana. 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.
As of April 2015, the Meridiana fleet consists of the following aircraft:
|Boeing 737-300||2||—||—||—||148||148||operated by Air Italy|
|Boeing 737-700||3||—||—||—||149||149||operated by Air Italy|
|Boeing 737-800||3||—||—||—||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||5||—||—||—||165||165||to be phased out|
Meridiana also used to operate the following aircraft types which have since been retired:
|McDonnell Douglas MD-83||1997||2014|
- Meridiana completes A319-100 retirement
Media related to Meridiana at Wikimedia Commons