|Founded||29 March 1963 as Alisarda|
|Frequent-flyer program||Meridiana Club|
|Company slogan||Questo si chiama volare.|
|Parent company||Alisarda (51%)
Qatar Airways (49%)
|Headquarters||Olbia, Sassari, Italy|
|Key people||Francesco Violante, President|
Meridiana S.p.A., operating as Meridiana (formerly named as Alisarda S.p.A and Meridiana fly S.p.A), 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. It's owned by Qatar Airways through Aqa Holding (49%) and Alisarda S.p.A. (51%).
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 create 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.
In 2 September 2017 it was announced that Qatar Airways bought 49% of AQA Holding, the new shareholder of Meridina. On 7 November 2017 it was announced that Qatar Airways would be rebranding the company as Air Italy effectively merging with the current Meridiana subsidiary.
As of 1 November 2017, the Meridiana fleet consists of the following aircraft:
|Airbus A330-200||—||5||TBA||EIS in April 2018|
|Boeing 737 MAX 8||—||20||TBA||Deliveries start in 2018|
|Boeing 767-200ER||1||—||12||241||253||To be phased out by early 2019|
|Boeing 767-300ER||3||—||12||276||288||To be phased out by early 2019|
In April 2017, it was announced that, due to Qatar Airways purchasing a stake in the airline, the airline is to complete a fleet modernisation with 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8 to be delivered from the second quarter of 2018. taken from Qatar's orders from Boeing. In October 2017, it was announced that the airline would replace its long-haul fleet with new aircraft transferred from Qatar Airways of taken from their own orders books with the chosen manufacturers. It was announced that the airline would operate a mix of Boeing 787 and Airbus A330.
Meridiana previously operated the following aircraft types:
|McDonnell Douglas DC-9/50||1991||2000|
|British Aerospace BAe 146-200||1991||2004|
|McDonnell Douglas MD-82||1984||2017|
|McDonnell Douglas MD-83||1999||2017|
- "Meridiana Fleet Details and History". www.planespotters.net. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
- "Meridiana, Qatar Airways rivela il 49%. Perfezionata l'operazione" [Meridiana, 49% to Qatar Airways] (in Italian). 28 September 2017.
- "Profile on Meridiana". CAPA. Centre for Aviation. Archived from the original on 2016-10-30. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
Media related to Meridiana at Wikimedia Commons