26 FEBRUARY 2018


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Article from BTNews 26 FEBRUARY 2018

Meridiana becomes Air Italy

In a challenge to Alitalia, privately-owned carrier Meridiana has been relaunched as Air Italy promising “an exciting new phase of growth” following an injection of capital from Qatar Airways last year.

The Middle East airline acquired 49% of AQA Holding, the new parent company of Air Italy, while previous sole shareholder Alisarda kept 51%.

Future plans were unveiled in Milan last week with officials including Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker and Meridiana chairman Francesco Volante positioning Air Italy as its home country’s leading airline.

The new company is aiming for a 50-strong fleet by 2022 and is already committed to receiving 20 new Boeing B737 MAXs over the next three years, starting in April.

Air Italy will also incorporate five Airbus A330-200s from the Qatar Airways’ fleet this year, with these being further replaced by Boeing B787-8 Dreamliners from May 2019.

Network plans include new long-range routes between Milan and New York and Miami followed by new short-haul services connecting Milan 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.



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