Air Italy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Air Italy
Air Italy logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
FoundedFebruary 19, 2018 (2018-02-19)
Commenced operationsMarch 1, 2018 (2018-03-01)
AOC #EY0F937F[1]
HubsMilan–Malpensa Airport
Focus citiesOlbia Costa Smeralda Airport
Frequent-flyer programMeridiana Club
(Part of Avios Loyalty program)
  • Air Italy Fleet Management
  • Meridiana Maintenancea
  • Wokita
Fleet size16
Company sloganImagine The World Differently
Parent companyAQA Holding S.p.A
HeadquartersOlbia, Sassari, Italy
Key people
  • Francesco Violante (Chairman)
  • Marco Rigotti (Deputy Chairman)
  • Rossen Dimitrov (COO)

Air Italy (registered as AIR ITALY S.p.A.[2]) is a privately owned Italian airline, headquartered in Olbia. The company is the second largest airline in Italy, following Alitalia (Italy's flag carrier), and the 38th largest airline in Europe. The airline is a subsidiary of AQA Holding, owned by Alisarda (51%) and Qatar Airways (49%).

The airline operates a fleet of Boeing 737 Next Generation, Boeing 737 MAX 8, Airbus A330 and Boeing 767 aircraft to over 34 scheduled domestic, European and intercontinental destinations. The airlines operates with its main hub at Milan–Malpensa Airport and operates a focus city at Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport. Air Italy is not a member of any of the three major airline alliances. However, it has codeshare agreements with eight airlines, including five member airlines of oneworld, with the airline subtly plans to join the alliance[3][4]. Members of Air Italy's frequent-flyer program, Meridiana Club, can earn Avios, a reward currency analogous to airline points.


Air Italy Boeing 737-800 in a hybrid livery inherited from Meridiana

The company was established on 19 February 2018, during a press conference in Milan, Italy announcing the future of Meridiana by merging the airline and its subsidiary, the original Air Italy, which was part of Meridiana Brand since 2013, to create the new Air Italy.[5] The focus of the company was to introduce a new Italian airline which would be stable to be the future flagship carrier of Italy, as Air Italy's competitor Alitalia, Italy's current flag carrier, filed for Administration since 2 May 2017. The plan also introduce a new brand image, new cabin experience, new airport lounge and new destinations. During the press conference the airline expressed interest in joining Oneworld.[6] The airline also announced that Qatar Airways would have a Codeshare agreement with the airline.[7]

All official branding and business of the new Air Italy took effect on March 1, 2018. The Meridiana IATA, ICAO, and AOC code merged into the new Air Italy. The airline website was relaunched with the re branding. Aircraft transferred from Meridiana still used the Meridiana livery although some were repainted with a hybrid livery.[8] Meridiana codeshare agreements and slots were transfers under the new Air Italy brand.

In April 2018, Air Italy and Qatar Airways successfully launched their planned codeshare on selected flights.[9][10]

On 18 April 2018 the airline welcomed Neil Mills as Chief Operating Officer (COO) who worked with the recently bankrupt airline Air Berlin.[11][12] and introduced Rossen Dimitrov as Chief Customer Experience Officer (CCEO) on 22 April 2018.[13][14]

On 22 April 2018, Air Italy became the official Italian launch customer of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 with the first aircraft fully painted, introduced to the public on Air Italy's social media pages.[15] The airline first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft was delivered at a handover ceremony at Boeing's Everett Delivery Centre in Seattle with Boeing executives on 11 May 2018.[16] The airline celebrated the delivery of the first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft on 14 May 2018 after the aircraft was handed over to Air Italy in Seattle, The airline held a special press conference in a hanger at its Milan–Malpensa hub. The airline also introduced the official uniforms.[17]

On 1 June 2018, Air Italy successfully began the launch of its new Milan–Malpensa Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport flight with the airline’s first Airbus A330-200, along with the new international long-haul flight the flight also marked the launch of its new seatback entertainment platform, onboard amenities and meals services.[18] Air Italy continued expand operations successfully launching more routes and services.

In July 2018, Air Italy attended the Farnborough Airshow showcasing its 2nd 737 MAX 8, making it the first time Air Italy attended the airshow.[19]

On 20 September 2018, Air Italy released its first summer season report. The airline stated that it had reached 90% load factor on the new US routes and carried more than 500,000 passengers to and from Sardinia. With the successful results the airline announced new frequencies.[20]

On 3 October 2018, Air Italy Chief Operating Officer (COO), Neil Mills, resigned due to personal reason. Effective immediately Rossen Dimitrov, formerly Air Italy Chief Customer Experience Officer (CCEO) was placed as the airlines new COO effective immediately.[21]

In October 2018, Air Italy officially announced 3 new senior position appointment. Elisabeth Milton as Vice President Sales and Distribution, Nicola Pozzati as Chief Human Resources and Organization Officer, and Simona Paccioretti as Head of Internal Audit.[22]

On 29 October 2018, Air Italy Expands their Executive Leadership by appointing Captain Konstantinos Iliakis as Air Italy Accountable Manager and Chief Flight and Ground Operations Officer.[23] On 21 November 2018, Air Italy appointed Valentina Quagliata as the SVP Network, Planning, and Strategy.[24] On the same day Air Italy also officially announced an official codeshare agreement with LATAM Brasil, effective immediately with flights between selected flights between Italy and São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport.[25][26]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Parent Company[edit]

Air Italy's official Parent Company AQA Holding S.p.A. Founded on 2 September 2017 after Qatar Airways purchased a 49% stake in Meridiana (later rebranding as the new Air Italy), with Alisarda keeping the 51% stake that it previously owned, which subsequently created the new holding company under the agreement with Meridiana's Board if Directors. Currently AQA Holding's Chairman is under control of Marco Rigotti (Deputy Chairman of Air Italy).

Head Offices[edit]

Air Italy's head offices are located on the property of Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport in Olbia, Italy, formerly owned by Meridiana.


Air Italy currently maintain 3 subsidiaries, inherited from Meridiana after the merge with the old Air Italy to form the new airline.[27]

  • Meridiana Maintenance S.p.A is the airline maintenance company was founded after Meridiana merged with eurofly (another Italian airline). Their hanger is located at Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport in Olbia, Italy next to the Air Italy Head Offices. Recently on 10 September 2018 it was announced that Air Italy would be insourcing Meridiana Maintenance as of 1 October 2018.[28]
  • Wokita S.i.r is another subsidiary Air Italy owns. Wokita is a tour operator that offers a wide and extensive range of tourism products such as package tours, flights, hotels and resorts in seaside areas, yachting and activity holidays since 2006.[29]
  • Air Italy Fleet Management company is another subsidiary, temporarily created company (formerly the original Air Italy) will only be in service until all the original Meridiana fleet (Boeing B737-700, B737-800, B767-300ER) aircraft lease is expired.[30]

Corporate identity[edit]

The Air Italy logo is designed with maroon and mint green colors. The colors are loosely based on the maroon from the Qatar Airways logo.[31] The airline has a specialty design the letter "Y" to look looking somewhat similar to a bird. The airlines livery is a modern white fuselage with the airline logo across the fuselage in a billboard style livery. It also includes a collage of their special designed "Y" letter taken from the logo, on the vertical fin. The letter Y is also present on the aircraft engines.[32]


Air Italy sponsors one professional sports team: the Italian basketball team Dinamo Sassari.[33][34]


Air Italy operates to 34 destinations in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. Air Italy aims to fly more than 50 year-round routes by 2022 stated in the airlines 5-year plan. The airline operates most of its flights out their main hub at Milan–Malpensa Airport and a second operation network out of their focus city at Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport.

Codeshare agreements[edit]

Air Italy has codeshare agreements with the following airlines: [35]


Air Italy Airbus A330-200

As of November 2018, the Air Italy fleet consists of the following aircraft:[38][39]

Air Italy Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Airbus A330-200 5 2 24 236 260 To be replaced by Boeing 787-8 in 2019.
Boeing 737-700 1 149 149 To be replaced by Boeing 737 MAX 8.
Boeing 737-800 5 189 189
Boeing 737 MAX 8 3 17 12 174 186 Italian Launch Customer.
To replace older Boeing 737-700 and -800 aircraft.
Boeing 767-300ER 1 12 276 288 To be phased-out by 2018.[40]
Boeing 787-8 30 TBA EIS in May 2019.[41]
To replace Airbus A330-200 starting in 2019.[42]
Total 15 49

Fleet development[edit]

As most of Air Italy's routes are currently operating using the former Meridiana aircraft (Boeing 737-700/-800 & Boeing 767-300ER), Air Italy will be developing its fleet by operating 50 new aircraft by 2022. Air Italy is sub-leasing with Qatar Airways on 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 30 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. These aircraft will start to enter service starting mid 2018 to 2022. From 2018 to 2019, Qatar Airways will lease five of its own Airbus A330-200 aircraft to Air Italy at market rate.[43]

Historical fleet[edit]

Air Italy previously operated the following aircraft types:

Air Italy historical fleet
Aircraft Total Introduced Retired Notes
Boeing 767-300ER 2 2018 2018


Short Haul[edit]

Short and medium haul aircraft features Business class, in a 3-3 layout with the middle seat blocked and Economy class in the same layout.[44] Short haul aircraft are not equipped with In-flight entertainment, although Passengers can use In flight WiFi for free to stream movies etc on their own personal devices.

Long Haul[edit]

Business class on long-haul aircraft are fitted with flat bed seats in a 2-2-2 layout, each seat is fitted with In-flight entertainment operated through Personal on-demand entertainment systems. Passengers can explore a wide variety of Movies and TV Shows, available in both Italian and English. Older aircraft do not offer any seat back entertainment but instead offer overhead entertainment, although passengers in business class receive iPads with entertainment installed to the tablet.[45][18][46] On International flights a new Amenity Kit (furnished by Italian brands Fedon and Acca Kappa) and designer pajamas and slippers are given to business class passengers.[18] The Economy cabin is fitted with slimline seats in a 2-4-2 layout, each seat is fitted with In-flight entertainment operated through Personal on-demand seat-back entertainment systems.[46]

Inflight Magazine[edit]

Air Italy's in flight magazine is named Atmosphere inherited from its predecessor. The magazine is available for all passengers on any Air Italy flight.

Frequent-flyer program[edit]

Meridiana Club is Air Italy's frequent-flyer program, launched on 15 April 2014 inherited from the Meridiana merge.[47] Customers can use Meridiana Club points on partner airlines British Airways and Iberia, points can also be used on partner car rental and partner hotels. Meridiana Club also works with Avios points.[48]


  1. ^ "Federal Aviation Administration - Airline Certificate Information - Detail View". Federal Aviation Administration.
  2. ^ "Alisarda Group". Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "19/02/2018 - Press conference_Milan, February 19th 2018" (PDF). Meridiana. February 18, 2018.
  6. ^ "Will Air Italy Join Oneworld? - One Mile at a Time". One Mile at a Time. 2018-02-24. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  7. ^ "Air Italy expands as UAE-backed Alitalia goes bankrupt". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  8. ^ "Ciao Meridiana, welcome AIR ITALY" (PDF). Air Italy. 1 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Air Italy inks codeshare with Qatar Airways; eyes India". ch-aviation. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  10. ^ "Air Italy signs codeshare agreements with Qatar Airways" (PDF). 17 April 2018.
  11. ^ DAVIES, PHIL (19 April 2018). "Former Air Berlin chief named as new COO of Air Italy". Travel Weekly. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  12. ^ "Neil Mills appointed Air Italy's Chief Operating Officer" (PDF). 18 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Rossen Dimitrov entra in Air Italy". Teleborsa. Retrieved 2018-04-30.
  14. ^ "Rossen Dimitrov Joining Air Italy as Chief Customer Experience Officer" (PDF). 20 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Air Italy reveals first 737 MAX 8 in new livery | CAPA". Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  16. ^ "Air Italy unveils Boeing 737 Max in 'striking' new livery". Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  17. ^ "Air Italy's First Boeing 737 MAX 8 Arrives In Italy (+Photos) - Airways Magazine". Airways Magazine. 2018-05-14. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  18. ^ a b c "Exclusive: Flying Air Italy's New York Inaugural in Business Class (+Photos) - Airways Magazine". Airways Magazine. 2018-06-02. Retrieved 2018-06-03.
  20. ^ "Air Italy Announces Capacity Growth Amidst Strong Summer Results". Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  21. ^ "Air Italy continues to make changes at the top". Air Cargo News. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  22. ^ travelnewsasia. "Executive Appointments at Air Italy". Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  23. ^ "Captain Konstantinos Iliakis Appointed As Air Italy's Accountable Manager and Chief Flight And Ground Operations Officer". AVIATOR. 2018-10-29. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  24. ^ "Air Italy. Valentina Quagliata SVP Network, Planning and Strategy". AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  25. ^ 2018, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Air Italy / LATAM Brasil begins codeshare service from Nov 2018". Routesonline. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  26. ^ "Air Italy signs codeshare agreement with LATAM Airlines Brazil". AVIATOR. 2018-11-21. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  27. ^ "Alisarda Group". Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  28. ^ "Air Italy assorbe Meridiana Maintenance: salvo l'organico - Travelnostop". (in Italian). Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  29. ^ " - Sardina More than a holiday". Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  30. ^ "Meridiana's Air Italy production carrier ceases flight ops". ch-aviation. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  31. ^ UnderConsideration. "Fly Y". Retrieved 2018-05-13.
  32. ^ "PICTURES: 'Qatar maroon' features in Air Italy livery". 2018-02-19. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  33. ^ "Gold Sponsor". Dinamo Sassari (in Italian). 2016-01-03. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  34. ^ "Air Italy - trova i servizi Parking collegati". (in Italian). Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  35. ^ "Air Italy Partners". Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  36. ^ "Air Italy / LATAM Brasil begins codeshare service from Nov 2018". Routesonline. 22 November 2018.
  37. ^ "Qatar Airways set to codeshare with Air Italy on Asia, Africa and Far East routes: Al-Baker". Gulf Times. 2018-02-21. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  38. ^ "La flotta di Air Italy, Compagnia aerea. Scopri la Business Class Air Italy". (in Italian). Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  39. ^ "Air Italy Flight Information". Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  40. ^ "Air Italy Media Center Corporate Press Office". Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  41. ^ "Air Italy: Qatar's plan to destroy Alitalia". 2018-02-21. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  42. ^ "PICTURES: 'Qatar maroon' features in Air Italy livery". 2018-02-19. Retrieved 2018-03-01.
  43. ^ Luitwieler, Neal (2018-05-18). "Eerste Airbus A330 in kleuren van Air Italy". Luchtvaartnieuws (in Dutch). Retrieved 2018-09-03.
  44. ^ "Inside Air Italy's First 737 MAX, With Qatar Airways Boss Al Baker Looking On". Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  45. ^ "Customer Care during Air Italy Flights and try our new Air Italy Business Class". Retrieved 2018-06-03.
  46. ^ a b "AIRITALY, spina nel fianco di Alitalia" [AIRITALY: a thorn in the side for Alitalia]. (in Italian). Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  48. ^ "Meridiana Club - Partners". Retrieved 2018-04-05.

External links[edit]

Media related to Air Italy at Wikimedia Commons