Air Europe (Italy)
Air Europe suspended operations in December 2008 after Compagnia Aerea Italiana (which was going to take over as the new Alitalia) decided to close down the Air Europe brand. The airline at one time was a subsidiary of the Volare Group; Volare Group had its head office in Thiene, Italy and its commercial management and charter management in Milan.
The airline was established in 1989 and started operations on 19 December 1989. It started off as part of the Airlines of Europe Group based in the United Kingdom, but became wholly Italian owned in 1991. In December 1997 it inaugurated its first scheduled flight to Havana, Cuba.
It eventually became a subsidiary of Volare Airlines. With this partnership, Air Europe became a major domestic and international airline, operating Airbus A320, Boeing 737, Boeing 757, Boeing 767 and Boeing 777 aircraft.
In 2004, however, Volare Group S.p.A. (the holding that controlled Air Europe S.p.A. and Volare Airlines S.p.A.) went bankrupt, and was put up for sale by the Italian Government in December 2004. Alitalia's offer for 38 million euros was the winning bid, however Air One tried to block the sale for various reasons by going to court - this happened five times, and, in fact, so many obstacles were placed in front of Alitalia's acquisition of the group (including Alitalia's financial difficulties), that the affair was considered like a soap-opera by the Italians.
In the end Air One was unsuccessful but Alitalia had to create Volare S.p.A. (AKA "Volareweb.com") in order to take over the then Volare "Group" S.p.A. Finally in May 2006 the former Volare Group employees were transferred to Volare S.p.A. and Air Europe S.p.A.
As of 1 January 2008 the airline (Air Europe) was considered an integral part of the Alitalia Group. That year Alitalia used it for long-haul leisure destinations such as Mauritius.
In September 2008, CAI made an offer to buy Alitalia, to save it from the bankruptcy it too was destined to end in, and on 12 December 2008 the offer was accepted. As a part of the re-branding CAI decided they were going to close down Air Europe as there was no longer a need for it. As a partner for leisure long-haul operations, it is possible that the "new" Alitalia will use Air Italy, an airline with which Alitalia already has some agreements.
Air Europe served the following destinations at the time of closure;
The Air Europe fleet consisted of the following aircraft at the time of closure:
- Air Europe brand closes down (Italian)
- "Contact us." Volareweb.com. Retrieved on 8 February 2011. "HEADQUARTER Corso Garibaldi, 186 - 36016 Thiene (VI) - ITALY." "COMMERCIAL MANAGEMENT Via Pirelli, 20 - 20124 Milano - ITALY" and "CHARTER MANAGEMENT Via Pirelli, 20 - 20124 Milano - ITALY"
- "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-03-27. p. 56.
- "Alitalia: Sabelli, pensiamo ampliare collaborazione con Air Italy" [Alitalia may extend partnership with Air Italy]. Milano Finanzia (in Italian). 13 October 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
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