Meridiana on March 1, 2018 officially became the new version of Air Italy. The old Air Italy (below) was also officially disbanded as an airline entity. It had been leasing aircraft to Meridiana under the Meridiana brand.
Above Copyright Photo: Air Italy (2nd) Boeing 767-304 ER I-AIGG (msn 28041) YYC (Chris Sands). Image: 935106.
The company issued this statement:
As anticipated during the press conference held in Milan on February,19th , and following the effectiveness of the sale of the aviation business unit of Air Italy to Meridiana fly, today the company has been renamed “AIR ITALY” SpA.
The integration of the two airlines operational activities, with the consequent unification of the personnel and of the respective organizational structures, is now completed, also thanks to ENAC (Italian Civil Aviation Authority) personnel, who fully supported AIR ITALY on technical and administration procedures.
The first long haul flight of the new AIR ITALY, IG3254, departed on March 1, 2018 at 02.00 (Italian local time) from Milan Malpensa Airport to International Abeid Amani Karume airport of Zanzibar, while the first domestic flight IG1111 from Olbia to Rome Fiumicino left the Costa Smeralda airport at 07.00 am.
The integration of the operating structures of the two carriers in the new AIR ITALY S.p.A. will deliver a better and more efficient organization focused on two main bases, Olbia for short-haul flights and Milan Malpensa for international and intercontinental flights. The currently operating Boeing 737 (top) and Boeing 767 aircraft will maintain the Meridiana livery until their phase out, while from next spring 3 Boeing 737 MAX 8 (below) and 5 Airbus A330-200 will join the fleet with the new AIR ITALY livery.
The historical “IG” code remains; it distinguished the company’s activity since its establishment in 1963, as Alisarda, transporting over 100 million passengers.
The start of the new AIR ITALY has coincided with the exit from the fleet of I-SMER, the last of the 18 MD-80 aircraft of the same series, that over 30 years have been protagonists of the history of Alisarda / Meridiana and through out the journeys of its loyal passengers. Airport and staff employees have saluted the take-off from the Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport.
Top Copyright Photo: Meridiana Boeing 737-84P WL EI-IGN (msn 35074) LGW (SPA). Image: 925445.
Meridiana aircraft slide show:
Air Italy (2nd) aircraft slide show: