Category Archives: Air Italy (3rd)

Air Italy launches the Milan – Toronto route

Air Italy on May 6 launched the Milan (Malpensa) – Toronto (Pearson).

Air Italy announced the new route on social media:

Air Italy’s inaugural flight to Toronto took off on May 6 from Milan Malpensa following a launch ceremony featuring media and dignitaries led by Rahim Aga Khan, Sultan Ali Allana, Director Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, Rossen Dimitrov, Chief Operating Officer Air Italy, and Armando Brunini, Chief Executive Officer SEA.

All photos by Air Italy.

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American, Delta and United pressure the White House against Qatar Airways and Air Italy

The CEOs of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have published an open letter to the White House concerning Qatar Airways and Air Italy:

President Donald J. Trump The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Trump,

Your administration was built on the enduring principle that the U.S. government will stand up for American workers against foreign governments that break their trade agreements with our country. The American people are grateful for that promise.

Today, America’s airline workers are counting on you to step up on their behalf.

In January 2018, your administration reached a historic agreement with Qatar over its Open Skies violations. While we hoped this agreement would hold Qatar accountable and force its heavily subsidized airline, Qatar Airways, to follow the rules and stop hurting American workers, that did not happen.

Today, Qatar Airways is ignoring the 2018 agreement that your administration signed by using massive government subsidies to launch new routes to the United States through its stake in Air Italy. Air Italy was a struggling regional carrier until Qatar Airways injected tens of millions of dollars into the company to circumvent the agreement and expand its U.S. presence. In the last few days, Qatar Airways has used its Italian proxy to launch routes to Los Angeles and San Francisco, and added flights to Miami – a further effort to undermine U.S. airlines. Simply put, Qatar Airways represents a grave threat to American jobs and the health of the airline industry.

No rule-abiding business can compete with a massively subsidized airline that ignores economic realities and can wipe away losses with one infusion of government cash after another.

We respectfully encourage your administration to hold Qatar accountable for violating
its agreement with the United States and affirm that we will not tolerate these continued infractions. We appreciate your resolute leadership in enforcing fair trade principles and ask that you continue to stand up for the more than 1.2 million U.S. workers whose jobs depend on a strong and vibrant passenger airline industry.

Sincerely,

Doug Parker, CEO, American Airlines

Edward Bastian, CEO Delta Air Lines

Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines

Air Italy responds to American, Delta and United accusations

Air Italy (3rd) Airbus A330-202 EI-GFX (msn 571) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 946242.

Air Italy has issued this statement following a previous statement by Qatar Airways:

American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have waged a years’ long war against their competitors in the Middle East. With those disputes having been settled last year, the three carriers have since turned their attention to us, claiming that we, Air Italy, are somehow a threat to American jobs and the health of the US airline industry.

Let us introduce ourselves, and set the record straight.

Air Italy is an Italian-registered and Italy-based airline. We are 56 years old (we previously were known as Meridiana), and we have served the United States for many years. Our shareholders are Alisarda, which holds 51% of our shares, and Qatar Airways, with a 49% shareholding. Our ownership structure has been reviewed and approved by the Italian Civil Aviation Authority, ENAC, and by the European Commission.

As of today we have a fleet of 13 aircraft, five of which are capable of operating long-haul service. While we pride ourselves on our flair and world-class service, we are puzzled (but slightly flattered) that the three very largest US carriers – which between themselves operate a fleet of more 2,500 aircraft – claim to be threatened by us.

We serve four points in the US from Milan – New York, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco. We have served New York’s JFK International Airport for many years. And we have added an important new service option for Miami, which we serve five days per week.

We have also just launched and have been welcomed warmly in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where we offer the only nonstop service to Milan. We will serve these cities four days per week – providing an important link between the US and Italian high tech, fashion and entertainment capitals.

Qatar Airways, which announced its minority investment in US in 2016 and completed its investment in us in 2017, does not code-share on our US-Italy routes.

The largest US carriers (and their alliance partners) control about 90% of all transatlantic traffic. If any of these three US airlines genuinely believe that our tiny share of “their” market is a threat, or that we should not be permitted to be licensed as an Italian carrier and serve the US, then they should address their complaints to ENAC and to the European Commission. We are proud to be serving the US market under a new name and colors, offering consumers an affordable, fun and high-quality new travel alternative.

Top Copyright Photo: Air Italy (3rd) Airbus A330-202 EI-GFX (msn 571) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 946242.

Air Italy aircraft slide show:

Qatar Airways: Qatar Airways’ investment in Air Italy is fully compliant with U.S.-Qatar Open Skies Agreement

Qatar Airways has issued this statement:

Following recent false accusations relating to Qatar Airways’ shareholding in Air Italy, such baseless statements and consistent inaccuracies need addressing as a matter of urgency.

Qatar Airways holds a 49 percent stake in Air Italy’s parent company, AQA. This minority investment is at the same level that Delta holds in both Virgin Atlantic and Aeromexico, and that Etihad held in Alitalia.

Qatar Airways’ investment in Air Italy, and operations to the United States, are fully compliant with the U.S.-Qatar Open Skies Agreement, the January 2018 U.S.-Qatar Understandings, and a side letter that accompanied the discussions.

Unfounded claims that Qatar Airways’ investment in Air Italy violates the Understandings are entirely false.

As a factual matter, the investment preceded the January 2018 U.S.-Qatar Understandings.

·         The investment was announced in a July 2016 press release and was approved in writing by the European Commission (DG Competition) in March 2017.

·         The transaction was closed in September 2017.

·         The discussions surrounding the Understandings took place in December 2017 and January 2018.

Qatar Airways’ investment in Air Italy was a matter of public knowledge (as were Qatar Airways’ investments in other airlines) at the time of the U.S.-Qatar discussions; airline investments were not raised as a point of concern during those talks. The Understandings do not mention or prohibit cross-border investments of any type.

Furthermore, Qatar Airways does not codeshare on any of Air Italy’s flights to the United States, and has no plans to do so. Qatar Airways is not operating any Fifth Freedom scheduled air services to the U.S.

The “Big 3” U.S. carriers have consistently demonstrated their hostility to new entrants into the U.S.-Europe market, and their attacks on Air Italy based on the identity of its minority shareholder are just another manifestation of this hostility. Air Italy, the carrier the “Big 3” cite as a major “threat” to their survival, has a fleet of just 15 aircraft and only serves one U.S. city – New York – with a daily service while other routes, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco are operated at a lower frequency.

The U.S.-Qatar Open Skies Agreement has brought enormous benefits to U.S. and Qatari consumers, businesses and communities. Qatar Airways’ services to the United States contribute to U.S. tourism and business. Qatar Airways is a long-term and loyal customer of Boeing, Gulfstream and General Electric, helping to secure tens of thousands of U.S. jobs through our continued investment in their products and is a valued partner to many other U.S. businesses.

Air Italy is an Italian airline fully owned by AQA Holding (51% Alisarda and 49% Qatar Airways), with its headquarters in Olbia and its main hub in Milan Malpensa. The company was established up with the name of Alisarda on March 29, 1963, with the aim of promoting tourism to Sardinia. In 1991 the name was changed to Meridiana.

Following a merger with charter carrier Eurofly and the acquisition of the charter company Air Italy the airline became the most important Italian player in international leisure flights.

In December 2017 growth towards new domestic, medium-haul and long haul destinations from Milan Malpensa was announced reflecting a major strategic shift for the Company.

In February 2018 a new corporate identity was presented and the Company was rebranded as Air Italy.

In May 2018 Air Italy added new domestic routes from Milan to Rome, Naples, Palermo, Catania, Lamezia Terme and Cagliari ( from March 31, 2019) scheduled for connection to its newest long-range destinations including New York, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco (the last two starting from April 2019), Toronto (from May 2019).

Its network also includes direct international flights from Milan Malpensa to Accra, Cairo, Dakar, Lagos, Sharm El-Sheikh, and, from its Olbia Costa Smeralda hub, year-round scheduled services to Rome, Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa and Bologna and seasonal ones to a wide range of domestic and regional destinations.

Air Italy’s fleet is currently comprised of three Boeing 737 MAX, seven Boeing 737 NG, and five Airbus A330.

Air Italy’s first Los Angeles-Milan flight takes-off

Air Italy’s first nonstop service from Los Angeles to Milan Malpensa was inaugurated on April 3, taking off from Los Angeles at 6.50 pm, adding a third direct service to North America following last year’s launch of Milan-New York JFK and Milan-Miami.

The new Los Angeles-Milan IG944 service which will operate four times weekly was inaugurated by Air Italy’s Chief Operating Officer, Rossen Dimitrov, who thanked Joe Buscaino, Council Member Los Angeles City, Keith Wilschetz, Deputy Executive Director Los Angeles World Airport, Max Reyes, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti Infrastructure Manager and Silvia Chiave, General Consul of Italy in Los Angeles and gave a warm send off to the departing passengers and media representatives.

In celebration of this new service, there was a traditional cake and ribbon cutting ceremony as the departure of the A330 aircraft was marked with a celebratory water cannon.

Air Italy’s next and fourth US service to be inaugurated will be the four-weekly services between San Francisco and Milan, which will commence on April 10th with flights each Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Tuesday.

The new flights from Los Angeles are four times weekly (Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Monday) and are operated by Air Italy’s new Airbus A330-200 offering 24 seats in Business and 228 in Economy class.

All international flights to and from Milan Malpensa, including the new LAX service, can connect with domestic flights served by Air Italy between Milan and central and southern Italy, namely Rome, Naples, Palermo, Catania, Lamezia Terme, Cagliari, and Olbia.

Summer 2019 – Timetable North America

Milan Malpensa – Los Angeles – Milan Malpensa

(Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Monday)

Milan (MXP) – Los Angeles (LAX) IG943 departure 1:00 pm arrival 04:50 pm

Los Angeles (LAX) – Milan (MXP) IG944 departure 06:50 pm arrival 03:55 pm (+1 day)

Milan Malpensa – San Francisco – Milan Malpensa

(Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Tuesday)

Milan (MXP) – San Francisco (SFO) IG937 departure 01:35 pm arrival 05:10 pm

San Francisco (SFO) – Milan (MXP) IG938 departure 07:10 pm arrival 04:05 pm (+1 day)

Milan Malpensa – New York JFK – Milan Malpensa

(Daily)

Milan (MXP) – New York (JFK) IG901 departure 01:15 pm arrival 04:40 pm

New York (JFK) – Milan (MXP) IG902 departure 08:30 pm arrival 10:50 am (+1 day)

Milan Malpensa – Miami – Milan Malpensa

(Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday – From May 1st, + Thursday)

Milan (MXP) – Miami (MIA) IG969 departure 12:55 am arrival 05:10 pm

Miami (MIA) – Milan (MXP) IG968 departure 07:10 pm arrival 11:05 am (+1 day)

All flights connect with: Rome (FCO), Naples (NAP), Lamezia Terme (SUF), Palermo (PMO), Catania (CTA), Olbia (OLB) and Cagliari (CAG)

Air Italy grounds its three Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 aircraft

EI-GGL

Following the European Union announcement closing European airspace to all MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft, Air Italy has made this announcement:

As an airline, the safety and security of our passengers and crew is always our first and key priority. With regard to the Boeing 737 MAX 8, all three of our MAX 8 aircraft are being grounded in compliance with the directive issued by ENAC this evening.

As stated previously, all aircraft that we operate are always in full compliance with the regulators’ instructions and manufacturer’s operating procedures. Air Italy will continue to be in constant dialogue with the authorities and Boeing with regard to our Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft and will follow all directives to continue to ensure the maximum level of safety and security for our passengers and crew.

With respect to our ongoing operations, Air Italy will re-protect all passengers.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Air Italy (3rd) Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 EI-GGL (msn 64607) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 943947.

Air Italy (3rd) aircraft slide show:

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