Meridiana

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Meridiana
MeridianaflyLogo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
IG ISS MERIDIANA
Founded 29 March 1963 as Alisarda
Commenced operations 1964
Operating bases
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Meridiana Club
Subsidiaries Air Italy
Fleet size 12
Destinations 66
Company slogan Questo si chiama volare.
Parent company Alisarda (51%)
Qatar Airways (49%)
Headquarters Olbia, Sassari, Italy
Key people Francesco Violante, President
Website meridiana.com

Meridiana S.p.A., operating as Meridiana (formerly named as Alisarda S.p.A and Meridiana fly S.p.A)[1], 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%).

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The company was set up with the name of Alisarda on 29 March 1963 by Aga Khan Prince Karīm al-Hussaynī with the aim of promoting tourism in Sardinia. Scheduled flights commenced in 1964.

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[edit]

An Airbus A330-200 operated by Eurofly

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[edit]

An Airbus A319-100 previously operated by Meridiana

In April 2013, when the Air Italy merger was completed, Meridiana Fly returned to its former, shorter name, Meridiana.[2] 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 Meridiana Club frequent flyers have been able to earn Avios points on British Airways and from 23 March 2015 on Iberia.

In December 2014, Meridiana retired its last Airbus aircraft, two A320-200s, to pursue the aim of operating an all Boeing fleet together with Air Italy.[3]

In 2 September 2017 it was announced that Qatar Airways bought 49% of AQA Holding, the new shareholder of Meridina.[4] 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.[5]

Destinations[edit]

Codeshare agreements[edit]

Meridiana codeshares with the following airlines:[6]

Fleet[edit]

Meridiana Boeing 737-700
Meridiana Boeing 737-800
Meridiana Boeing 767-300ER
Former Meridiana McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50

Current fleet[edit]

As of 1 November 2017, the Meridiana fleet consists of the following aircraft:[7]

Meridiana fleet
Aircraft In fleet Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Airbus A330-200 5 TBA EIS in April 2018[8]
Boeing 737-700 1 149 149
Boeing 737-800 7 189 189
Boeing 737 MAX 8 20 TBA Deliveries start in 2018[9]
Boeing 767-200ER 1 12 241 253 To be phased out by early 2019[10]
Boeing 767-300ER 3 12 276 288 To be phased out by early 2019[11]
304 304
Total 12 25

Fleet development[edit]

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.[12][13]

Historical fleet[edit]

Meridiana previously operated the following aircraft types:[citation needed]

Meridiana historical fleet
Aircraft Introduced Retired
McDonnell Douglas DC-9/50 1991 2000
British Aerospace BAe 146-200 1991 2004
Airbus A319-100 2004 2013
Airbus A320-200 2010 2014
Airbus A330-200 2010 2014
Boeing 737-300 2011 2016
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 1984 2017
McDonnell Douglas MD-83 1999 2017

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Meridiana at Wikimedia Commons