Air Italy (2005–2018)

Air Italy
IATA ICAO Callsign
I9[1] AEY[2] AIR ITALY
Founded 2005
Ceased operations 28 February 2018
Merged with Meridiana to create the new Air Italy[3]
AOC # YXYF237F
Hubs Malpensa Airport (Milan)
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Meridiana Club
Fleet size 12
Destinations 36
Parent company Meridiana
Headquarters Olbia, Sassari, Italy
Website meridiana.com

Air Italy S.p.A., operating as Air Italy[4] was an Italian airline, headquartered in Milan. The airline operated wet-leased aircraft from Boeing. The airline was a solo operational airline from 2005-2018, along with the creation of Air Italy Group together with two other subsidiaries that were Air Italy Egypt and Air Italy Polska (which then later ceased operation). Since 2011, Air Italy was a fully integrated subsidiary of Meridiana, then known as Meridiana fly and continued its operation under the Meridiana Brand keeping its own AOC. On 28 February 2018, Air Italy reorganized with Meridiana to create the new Air Italy under the new ownership of Meridiana Parent Company, AQA Holding.

History

Early years

The airline was set up in 2005 and was originally owned by BV Asset Management (40%), Giuseppe Gentile (40%) and the Pathfinder Corporation (20%).[5] It started operations on 29 May of the same year with an inaugural flight from Turin to Budapest. In late 2006, an independent investment company acquired a 40% share in Air Italy.

The funding of 280 million Euros was used to buy three used Boeing 767 aircraft (one -200ER and two -300ERs) in 2007 and 2008 for services to leisure destinations in Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean.[6] Most of Air Italy's independent flights left from either Naples Airport, Turin Airport, Verona Airport or Milan Malpensa Airport.[5]

Under Meridiana ownership

On 18 July 2011, Meridiana, then known as Meridiana fly, announced that it would merge with Air Italy.[7] Since 2013, Air Italy operates entirely on behalf of Meridiana using their corporate design.

On 2 September 2017 it was announced that Qatar Airways had bought 49% of AQA Holding, the new shareholder of Meridiana (Air Italy's parent company). On 7 November 2017 it was announced that Qatar Airways would be merging Meridiana and Air Italy under the Meridiana brand and AOC.

Merge and rebranding as Air Italy

February 19 2018, Meridiana was officially re-branded and merged with Air Italy in a bid to becomes Italy's flagship carrier under the new Air Italy brand, in place of the bankrupt Alitalia.[8] Eight new aircraft are to be added in 2018, comprising three Boeing 737 MAX 8 and five Airbus A330-200s. Air Italy confirmed a commitment to receive 20 new 737 MAX aircraft from Apr-2018 over three years, while the A330s will be sourced from Qatar Airways as it replaces its A330 aircraft with 787s. Air Italy plans to operate 50 aircraft by 2022.[9]

Subsidiaries

Air Italy used to maintain two subsidiaries, which have since ceased to exist:

  • Air Italy Egypt was created in 2007 under the name Euro Mediterranean Airlines as a subsidiary based in Egypt, which initially operated a single Boeing 757-200 that was later replaced by a Boeing 737-800. In September 2009, Euro Mediterranean Airlines was rebranded as Air Italy Egypt, but by the end of the same year it had vanished due to financial difficulties.
  • Air Italy Polska was also established in 2007 to operate leisure flights from Poland. In 2011, it was sold to private investors and renamed Air Poland but subsequently filed for bankruptcy and shut down in 2012.

Destinations

All of Air Italy's flights were operated on behalf of its parent, Meridiana, under the Meridiana brand.

Fleet

Former fleet

The airline previously operated the following aircraft as of August 2016:[10]

References

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