Air One

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Air One
Air One Logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded1983; 37 years ago (1983)
Ceased operations30 October 2014 (2014-10-30)[1]
Operating bases
Frequent-flyer programMilleMiglia
Fleet size10
Parent companyAlitalia
HeadquartersFiumicino, Italy

Air One S.p.A. was an Italian low-cost airline which operated as Air One "Smart Carrier". It operated as Alitalia's low cost carrier subsidiary with operating bases located in Catania-Fontanarossa Airport, Palermo Falcone–Borsellino Airport, Pisa Airport, Venice Marco Polo Airport and Verona Villafranca Airport; while Tirana was a focus city.[2] "Air One" is a portmanteau of the English meaning Air One and the Italian word 'airone', meaning heron (the bird depicted in the airline's logo), which was also the airline's callsign.

Before the merger with Alitalia, Air One was a competitor, the second largest airline in Italy, with a network to 36 destinations in Italy, Europe and North America. Its main bases were Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Linate Airport in Milan and Turin Airport.[3]

Air One ceased operations on 30 October 2014[1] as part of the new concept of its parent company Alitalia based on its new partnership with Etihad Airways. All routes were either cancelled or taken over by Alitalia itself.


First years[edit]

Air One began life as Aliadriatica which was established in Pescara in 1983 to operate as a flying school and provide air-taxi services and later regional scheduled services. In 1988 Gruppo Toto, one of the leading building and civil engineering groups in Italy, became the majority shareholder. With the acquisition of its first Boeing 737-200 in June 1994, Aliadriatica started scheduled and charter operations. On 27 April 1995 Aliadriatica began scheduled flights between Milan (Linate) and Brindisi and Reggio Calabria and Lamezia Terme.

On 23 November 1995, the new name Air One was adopted and the airline began operating scheduled flights between Rome and Milan. In 1996, the first full year of operations, 713,000 passengers were carried and the airline expanded rapidly thereafter.

In the year 2000 Air One announced a partnership with Lufthansa and nearly all Air One flights became code-shared with Lufthansa.

As from June 2006, regional destinations were served under the name Air One CityLiner with the brand new fleet of Bombardier CRJ-900s.[3]

In 2007, Air One carried approximately 5.5 million passengers (scheduled and charter), thus becoming the second largest Italian airline in terms of passenger traffic. 2007 revenues totaled EUR750 million with a net profit of EUR6.8 million.

Merger with Alitalia[edit]

Air One Boeing 737-300 in 2008

In August 2008, it was announced that Air One was to be merged with Alitalia.[4] Air One was almost bankrupt in 2008,[5] and the merger with Alitalia-CAI was the only viable solution to save it.

On 13 January 2009, Air One officially became part of Alitalia, though the two airlines were to be combined into one over time. A detailed integration plan was at that time yet to be announced.

On 28 March 2009, due to the merger with Alitalia, the cooperation between Lufthansa's Miles & More and Air One ended.[6] On 28 June 2009, also due to the Alitalia merger, the partnerships with United Airlines' Mileage Plus program and Air Canada's Aeroplan program ended.[7]

Later in 2009, the Alitalia and Air One booking procedures were unified so that the airlines effectively became the same.

Air One "Smart Carrier" - Low Cost subsidiary[edit]

On 28 March 2010, Air One Smart Carrier as a separate brand from Alitalia began operating low-cost flights out of Milan Malpensa Airport. Nine domestic and five international destinations were initially served, using five Airbus A320s painted in the Air One livery and formatted to 180 seats.[8]

In its first full quarter of operations, Air One Smart Carrier transported 320 000 passengers, with an on-time performance of 89%.[9]

On 2 February 2011, Air One Smart Carrier announced that, in the Summer 2011 season, it would expand its operations at Milan Malpensa and also open a new base at Pisa Airport. The base opened on 1 July 2011.[10] Air One Smart Carrier predicted it would carry 1,6 million passengers in 2011, compared to 0,9 million in 2010, and a new website was also launched.

On 21 December 2011, Air One Smart Carrier announced a new base at Venice Marco Polo Airport, with flights starting in May 2012. On 1 October 2012, operations commenced at Air One Smart Carrier's new base in Catania Fontanarossa Airport, the fourth base. In September 2013 the opening of a fifth base at Palermo Falcone-Borsellino Airport was announced with flights to commence in March 2014 including a new route to London Gatwick Airport, a destination not served by Air One since the ending of flights from Milan Malpensa Airport.

On 26 October 2013, Air One closed its operating base in Milan Malpensa Airport and announced a new base at Palermo Falcone–Borsellino Airport. The flights from Palermo started in March 2014.


On 26 August 2014, it was announced that parent-company Alitalia would shut down Air One by autumn 2014.[1] All remaining routes were terminated by 30 October 2014 with some base operations and routes already closed by 30 September.[1][11] Some routes, especially within Italy, have been taken over by Alitalia itself as well as the former Air One fleet.


Fleet history[edit]

Air One operated the following aircraft types during its history:[12]

Air One Historical Fleet
Aircraft Total Introduced Retired Remark
ATR 42–300(QC) 1 2006 2008 SP-KEE
leased from White Eagle Aviation[13]
Airbus A320-200 30 2006 2008 CS-TQA, CS-TQB
leased from Air Luxor[13]
Fleet of 10 aircraft in use when operations ceased
Airbus A330-200 2 2008 2009
Boeing 737-200 3 1993 2008
Boeing 737-300 13 1995 2010
Boeing 737-400 27 1997 2010
Boeing 737-800 6 2002 2004
British Aerospace Avro RJ70 2 2006 2009 SE-DJZ, SE-DJX
leased from Transwede Airways[13]
Jetstream 31 Airliner 2 1991 1993 I-ALKC, I-ALKD
on lease[14]
Fokker 50 1 1991 1993 PH-JXK
leased from Denim Air[15]
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-15RC 2 1997 1999 I-TJAN, I-TJAR
on lease[13]
McDonnell Douglas MD-83 1 2006 2008 EC-GBA
leased from Spanair[16]
Saab 2000 1 1999 1999 HB-IZS
leased from Crossair[17]

The Air One fleet progression over the years:

  • In January 2006, the airline signed a contract with Airbus for 30 Airbus A320s and 60 options, to replace the carrier's leased fleet of Boeing 737-400s.[18]
  • In May 2007, the airline announced the conversion of options and purchase rights for 50 Airbus A320s into firm orders, bringing its commitment to the type to 90 aircraft.[19]
  • In June 2008, the airline ordered 24 aircraft from Airbus for 4.8 billion dollars. Air One also had an option to buy another 20 aircraft for 3.8 billion dollars. The order included 12 Airbus A330s and 12 A350s.[20] The order was transferred to Alitalia when Air One ceased operations.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ "Copyright." Air One. Retrieved on 14 September 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-03-27. pp. 64–65.
  4. ^ "Turnround specialist says 'basta' to crying over Alitalia". Financial Times. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  5. ^ GOVERNO: FALLIMENTO DI ALITALIA! SALVATI DALLA BANCAROTTA SOLO AIR ONE E MALPENSA (Pirozzi e Biasco). | IlpuntoDue "La Nuova Compagnia, servirà a salvare la Air One di Toto, che accumula passivi ogni giorno, insieme al salvataggio dell’aeroporto di Malpensa, che correva il rischio di perdere 62 attracchi al giorno e il declassamento ad aeroporto di secondo livello." translated: "The New Company (Alitalia-CAI) will save Toto's Air One, which has its debts increased every day, together with Malpensa Airport, which could have lost 62 slots per day and it could have been declassed to second-level airport."
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2009-04-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Alitalia's plans at Milan Malpensa see Air One being used as a low-fare airline" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  9. ^ " - Alitalia: financial statements for the first half of 2010". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Alitalia/AirOne adds 16 new routes from Milan & Pisa in S11". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  11. ^ "Alitalia to phase out Air One from October". ch-aviation. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Air One historic fleet at airfleets.ner. Retrieved 14 February 2012". Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  13. ^ a b c d "Air One fleet". Planespotters. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  14. ^ "BAe Jetstream". rzjets. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Fokker F50". rzjets. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  16. ^ "McDonnell Douglas MD-83". rzjets. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  17. ^ "Saab 2000". rzjets. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  18. ^ Air Transport World Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine 13 January 2006
  19. ^ Air Transport World Archived 2007-05-12 at the Wayback Machine 9 May 2007
  20. ^ Babington, Deepa (4 June 2008). "CORRECTED - Italy's Air One orders Airbus planes for bln". Reuters.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Air One at Wikimedia Commons