|Founded||February 19, 2018|
|Commenced operations||March 1, 2018|
|Focus cities||Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||Meridiana Club|
(Part of Avios Loyalty program)
|Company slogan||Imagine The World Differently|
|Parent company||AQA Holding S.p.A|
|Headquarters||Olbia, Sassari, Italy|
Air Italy (registered as AIR ITALY S.p.A.) is a privately owned Italian airline, headquartered in Olbia. The company is the second largest airline in Italy, following Alitalia (Italy's flag carrier), and the 38th largest airline in Europe. The airline is a subsidiary of AQA Holding, owned by Alisarda (51%) and Qatar Airways (49%). The airline operates a fleet of Boeing 737 Next Generation, Boeing 737 MAX 8 and Airbus A330 aircraft to over 34 scheduled domestic, European and intercontinental destinations. The airlines operates with its main hub at Milan–Malpensa Airport and operates a focus city at Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport.
- 1 History
- 2 Corporate affairs
- 3 Destinations
- 4 Fleet
- 5 Services
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The company was established on 19 February 2018, during a press conference in Milan, Italy announcing the future of Meridiana by merging the airline and its subsidiary, the original Air Italy, which was part of Meridiana Brand since 2013, to create the new Air Italy. The focus of the company was to introduce a new Italian airline which would be stable to be the future flagship carrier of Italy, as Air Italy's competitor Alitalia, Italy's current flag carrier, filed for Administration since 2 May 2017. The plan also introduce a new brand image, new cabin experience, new airport lounge and new destinations. During the press conference the airline expressed interest in joining Oneworld. The airline also announced that Qatar Airways would have a Codeshare agreement with the airline.
All official branding and business of the new Air Italy took effect on March 1, 2018. The Meridiana IATA, ICAO, and AOC code merged into the new Air Italy. The airline website was relaunched with the re-branding. Aircraft transferred from Meridiana still used the Meridiana livery although some were repainted with a hybrid livery. Meridiana codeshare agreements and slots were transfers under the new Air Italy brand.
On 18 April 2018 the airline appointed Neil Mills as Chief Operating Officer (COO) who worked with the recently bankrupt airline Air Berlin. and introduced Rossen Dimitrov as Chief Customer Experience Officer (CCEO) on 22 April 2018.
On 22 April 2018, Air Italy became the official Italian launch customer of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 with the first aircraft fully painted, introduced to the public on Air Italy's social media pages. The airline first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft was delivered at a handover ceremony at Boeing's Everett Delivery Centre in Seattle with Boeing executives on 11 May 2018. The airline celebrated the delivery of the first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft on 14 May 2018 after the aircraft was handed over to Air Italy in Seattle, The airline held a special press conference in a hanger at its Milan–Malpensa hub. The airline also introduced the official uniforms.
On 1 June 2018, Air Italy successfully began the launch of its new Milan–Malpensa Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport flight with the airline’s first Airbus A330-200, along with the new international long-haul flight the flight also marked the launch of its new seatback entertainment platform, onboard amenities and meals services. Air Italy continued expand operations successfully launching more routes and services.
On 20 September 2018, Air Italy released its first summer season report. The airline stated that it had reached 90% load factor on the new US routes and carried more than 500,000 passengers to and from Sardinia. On the back of the successful results, the airline announced new frequencies.
On 3 October 2018, Air Italy Chief Operating Officer (COO), Neil Mills, resigned due to personal reasons. Effective immediately Rossen Dimitrov, formerly Air Italy's Chief Customer Experience Officer (CCEO) was appointed as the airline's new COO with immediate effect.
In October 2018, Air Italy officially announced 3 appointments to senior positions. Elisabeth Milton as Vice President of Sales and Distribution, Nicola Pozzati as Chief Human Resources and Organisation Officer, and Simona Paccioretti as Head of Internal Auditing.
Further executive appointments were made on the 29 October 2019 with Captain Konstantinos Iliakis brought in as Accountable Manager and Chief Flight and Ground Operations Officer. On 21 November 2018, Air Italy appointed Valentina Quagliata with the title of SVP for Network, Planning, and Strategy. On the same day, Air Italy also officially announced an official codeshare agreement with LATAM Brasil, effective immediately for selected flights between Italy and São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport.
In December 2018, Air Italy announced the official launch of its Milan Malpensa to Indira Gandhi International Airport and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, India. Along with official Launch of India routes, Air Italy announce 4 new routes to North America. Flights from Milan Malpensa to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago in the United States and Milan Malpensa to Toronto, Canada.
Air Italy's official Parent Company AQA Holding S.p.A. Founded on 2 September 2017 after Qatar Airways purchased a 49% stake in Meridiana (later rebranding as the new Air Italy), with Alisarda keeping the 51% stake that it previously owned, which subsequently created the new holding company under the agreement with Meridiana's Board of Directors. Currently AQA Holding's Chairman is under control of Marco Rigotti (Deputy Chairman of Air Italy).
- Meridiana Maintenance S.p.A. is the airline maintenance company that was founded after Meridiana merged with eurofly (another Italian airline). Their hangar is located at Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport in Olbia, Italy next to the Air Italy Head Offices. On 10 September 2018 it was announced that Air Italy would be insourcing Meridiana Maintenance as of 1 October 2018.
- Wokita S.i.r is another subsidiary that Air Italy owns. Wokita is a tour operator that offers a wide and extensive range of tourism products such as package tours, flights, hotels and resorts in seaside areas, yachting and activity holidays.
- Air Italy Fleet Management is another subsidiary, a temporarily created company (formerly the original Air Italy). It will only be in operation until all the original Meridiana (Boeing B737-700, B737-800, B767-300ER) aircraft leases are expired.
The Air Italy logo is designed with maroon and mint green colors. The colours are loosely based on the maroon from the Qatar Airways logo. The airline has a specialty design the letter "Y" to look looking somewhat similar to a bird. The airlines livery is a modern white fuselage with the airline logo across the fuselage in a billboard style livery. It also includes a collage of their special designed "Y" letter taken from the logo, on the vertical fin. The letter Y is also present on the aircraft engines.
Air Italy operates to 34 destinations in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. Air Italy aims to fly more than 50 year-round routes by 2022 stated in the airline's 5-year plan. The airline operates most of their flights out of their main hub at Milan–Malpensa Airport, and a second operation network out of their focus city at Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport.
|Airbus A330-200||5||—||24||228||252||To be replaced by Boeing 787-8 in 2019.|
|Boeing 737-700||1||—||—||149||149||To be replaced by Boeing 737 MAX 8.|
|Boeing 737 MAX 8||3||17||12||174||186||Italian Launch Customer. |
To replace older Boeing 737-700 and -800 aircraft.
|Boeing 787-8||—||30||TBA||EIS in May 2019.|
To replace Airbus A330-200 starting in 2019.
Air Italy previously operated the following aircraft types:
|Boeing 767-300ER||3||2018||2019||Airbus A330-200|
As most of Air Italy's routes are currently operating using the former Meridiana aircraft (Boeing 737-700/-800 & Boeing 767-300ER), Air Italy will be developing its fleet by operating 50 new aircraft by 2022. Air Italy is sub-leasing with Qatar Airways on 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 30 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. These aircraft will start to enter service starting mid 2018 to 2022. From 2018 to 2019, Qatar Airways will lease five of its own Airbus A330-200 aircraft to Air Italy at market rate.
Short and medium haul aircraft features Business class, in a 3-3 layout with the middle seat blocked and Economy class in the same layout. Short haul aircraft are not equipped with In-flight entertainment, although Passengers can use In flight WiFi for free to stream movies etc on their own personal devices.
Business class on long-haul aircraft are fitted with flat bed seats in a 2-2-2 layout, each seat is fitted with In-flight entertainment operated through Personal on-demand entertainment systems. Passengers can explore a wide variety of Movies and TV Shows, available in both Italian and English. Older aircraft do not offer any seat back entertainment but instead offer overhead entertainment, although passengers in business class receive iPads with entertainment installed to the tablet. On International flights a new Amenity Kit (furnished by Italian brands Fedon and Acca Kappa) and designer pajamas and slippers are given to business class passengers. The Economy cabin is fitted with slimline seats in a 2-4-2 layout, each seat is fitted with In-flight entertainment operated through Personal on-demand seat-back entertainment systems.
Air Italy's in flight magazine is named Atmosphere inherited from its predecessor.
Meridiana Club is Air Italy's frequent-flyer program, launched on 15 April 2014 inherited from the Meridiana merge. Customers can use Meridiana Club points on partner airlines British Airways and Iberia, points can also be used on partner car rental and partner hotels. Meridiana Club also works with Avios points.
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Media related to Air Italy at Wikimedia Commons