TravelNewsAsia.com
Mon, 26 Feb 2018

Meridiana to Rebrand as Air Italy

Meridiana, Italy’s long established privately owned airline, has entered a new phase of growth and development with a new identity as Air Italy.

Qatar Airways owns 49% of AQA Holding, the new parent company of Air Italy, while the previous sole shareholder Alisarda has 51%.

Air Italy aims to have approximately 50 aircraft by 2022 and is already committed to receiving 20 of the brand new Boeing 737-Max aircraft type from April 2018, over the next three years.

 Air Italy will also receive five Airbus A330-200 aircraft this year from the Qatar Airways’ fleet, prior to these being further replaced by Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft, commencing May 2019.

Air Italy. Click to enlarge.

Network destinations will also be expanded with new long-range routes from Milan to New York and Miami already announced, followed by new short-haul routes connecting Milan and the airline’s long range destinations to Rome, Naples, Palermo, Catania and Lamezia Terme.

Further plans include strengthening the short-range network to improve connectivity and launching the first long-range destination from Rome Fiumicino in 2019. Air Italy aims to fly more than 50 year-round routes by 2022.

Meridiana’s Chairman, Francesco Violante, said, “Air Italy has an ambition to reach a goal of transporting 10 million passengers per year by 2022 traveling to, from and via Italy. We expect more than 8 million of these to use Milan Malpensa airport. In support of this ambition, there is a great need to develop new skills and competences amongst our people and for all to embrace change as a fantastic opportunity. I wholeheartedly support this new effort.”

Meridiana has carried more than 100 million passengers to date as full-service carrier, operating both short-haul and long-haul flights. The company has more than 1,400 dedicated employees, maintains codeshare partnerships with some airlines, and is a full member of IATA and the largest airline at Olbia Costa Smeralda airport.

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