The “new airline” aims to transport 10 million passengers each year by 2022
Meridiana is no more. Italy’s long-established privately owned airline, known for its affordable flights to Sardinia and Sicily, went through a huge change on Tuesday. The carrier has announced that it expects a phase of growth and development while using a fresh new identity – Air Italy.
The decision to rebrand came after Qatar Airways strengthened its commitment to Italy in 2017 with the acquisition of 49 per cent of AQA Holding, the new parent company of Air Italy. The remaining 51 per cent still belongs to the previous sole shareholder, Alisarda.
As part of the rebrand, Air Italy’s aircraft will receive a new design of teal and purple graphic elements on the tail, slightly similar to the look of Qatar Airways. The side of the plane will have the logo in clean, all-caps type.
Meridiana’s chairman, Francesco Violante, said: “Air Italy has an ambition to reach a goal of transporting 10 million passengers per year by 2022 travelling 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.”
Air Italy aims to increase the size of its fleet to approximately 50 aircraft by 2022 and is already committed to receiving 20 of the brand new Boeing 737-Max aircraft from April 2018.
Five Airbus A330-200 aircraft will arrive this year from Qatar Airways’ fleet, before to these are further replaced by Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft, commencing in May 2019.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “With high quality and an affordable schedule of services in the domestic, regional and intercontinental segments, Air Italy will achieve global scale in both fleet and network expansion, offering high-quality premium class products across all flights on a modern fleet.”