Since the acquisition on September 28, 2017 of a minority stake in Air Italy, Qatar Airways has strongly believed in the company and in its potential, supporting management’s proposed business plan with a view to improving Air Italy’s growth and job creation, with the addition of long-haul routes and numerous in-flight service improvements, in line with Qatar Airways’ globally renowned high standards.
Despite our minority shareholder’s role, Qatar Airways has continuously provided all possible support to Air Italy right from the beginning, from releasing aircraft from our fleet and ordering new aircraft for Air Italy, to backing management choices and injecting capital and investment as required and permitted.
Even with the changing competitive environment and the increasingly difficult market conditions severely impacting the air transport industry, Qatar Airways has continually reaffirmed its commitment, as a minority shareholder, to continue investing in the company to create value for Italy and the travelling public and to provide support for Air Italy and its staff because for Qatar Airways the focus on employees is a core priority in its strive for excellence – in addition to supporting local communities and other stakeholders.
For this reason, Qatar Airways was ready once again to play its part in supporting the growth of the airline, but this would only have been possible with the commitment of all shareholders.
Following the shareholders’ meeting of Air Italy (Alisarda and Qatar Airways through AQA Holding spa) which decided the “liquidazione in bonis” of the company, and with the aim of minimizing the inconvenience for passengers holding Air Italy tickets, we inform all passengers that:
From February 11 to 25, 2020 inclusive, all Air Italy flights will be operated by other carriers at the times and on the days previously scheduled; all passengers who booked flights (outward or return) after February 25, 2020 will be re-protected or fully refunded.
All scheduled flights (outward or return) up to and including February 25, 2020 (including the first departures on the morning of February 26, 2020 of domestic flights to Malpensa and from Male and Dakar airports) will be regularly operated, without any changes to the original scheduled dates and times and on the same flight conditions. Passengers will be able to fly using their ticket. Alternatively, passengers can always opt for a full ticket refund by emailing the following address email@example.com (or contacting their travel agency) prior to their flight’s departure time.
For all tickets scheduled to depart by February 25, 2020 and to return after February 25, 2020:
– the outward journey will be regularly operated, without any changes to the original scheduled dates and times and the same flight conditions; with regards to the return flight, passengers will be offered a travel option on the first available flight of another carrier, the details of which will be provided from 18 February 2020 by calling the following number from Italy: 892928, from abroad: +39078952682, from Usa: +1 866 3876359, from Canada: +1 800 7461888, or by contacting the travel agency in the case of purchase through this channel.
– Alternatively, passengers can opt to claim their refund for unused flight segments, by emailing the following address firstname.lastname@example.org (or by contacting the travel agency if the ticket was purchased through it) prior to the flight’s departure time.
Tickets for return flights after February 25, 2020:
– If purchased directly via the web (Air Italy portal) or Air Italy contact center, they will be fully refunded in a manner that will be provided via email, or requesting it at the address email@example.com
– If purchased through the Air Italy ticket office, they will be fully refunded by going to any Air Italy ticket office
– If purchased through a travel agency it will be necessary to request a refund or a change of travel by contacting the agency
All bookings for which the travel document has not been completed through the purchase of the ticket will automatically lapse. For more information, the toll-free number from Italy: 892928; from abroad: +39078952682 from Usa: +1 866 3876359 from Canada: +1 800 7461888
Top Copyright Photo: Air Italy (3rd) Airbus A330-202 EI-GGN (msn 482) MIA (Brian McDonough). Image: 949038.
Air Italy heralds start of Winter Season with new flights to the Maldives, Mombasa, Zanzibar and Tenerife all in same week.
Air Italy’s first nonstop flight to Malè, (IG995), was inaugurated on October 29, taking off from Milan Malpensa at 6.15 pm.
The Milan–Maldives route, together with the flights to Zanzibar and Mombasa, which commence service on November 1, 2019are also joined this week by the inaugural flight to Tenerife, which was launched two days ago, completing the airline’s new winter season lineup.
As VIPs and dignitaries gathered to celebrate at the airline’s Milan Malpensa hub, there was a traditional cake and ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the departure of the A330 aircraft.
All international flights to and from Milan Malpensa, including the new service for the Maldives, benefit from connections with domestic flights served by Air Italy between Milan and central and southern Italy, namely Rome, Naples, Palermo, Catania, Lamezia Terme and Cagliari.
Air Italy’s long-haul network is operated by Airbus A330-200s with 24 seats in Business Class and 228 seats in Economy Class, operating from the Milan Malpensa hub where the airline operates all year round direct flights to New York (daily) and Miami (daily except Tuesday). Also from Malpensa, Air Italy offers direct flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto in the summer season, from March to October, while during from the winter season the company operate weekly flights to the Maldives, Zanzibar and Mombasa.
Air Italy is delighted to announce the signing of two Special Prorate Agreements (SPA) with key carriers Finnair and El Al.
Now, thanks to the agreement with Finnair, five new key destinations in Finland (Helsinki, Turku, Oulu, Kokkola and Rovaniemi) are all now available via Milan Malpensa for Air Italy passengers departing from our seven key airports in central & southern Italy (Rome, Naples, Palermo, Catania, Lamezia Terme, Cagliari and Olbia).
At the same time, Finnair’s customers have now the opportunity to fly to Air Italy’s African destinations, traveling from Finland via Milan Malpensa, and connect seamlessly to Dakar, Lagos, Accra, Sharm El-Sheikh and Cairo.
Simultaneously, with respect to El Al, Air Italy’s passengers arriving in Milan Malpensa from North America will now be able to connect with El Al to land in Tel Aviv while El Al’s customers departing from Tel Aviv can now easily reach Air Italy’s North American destinations via Milan Malpensa.
Moreover, from Tel Aviv, El Al’s passengers can also connect to Air Italy’s domestic network from Malpensa to the key cities and towns of central and southern Italy such as Rome, Naples, Palermo, Catania, Lamezia Terme, Cagliari and Olbia.
Starting on July 10, 2019, Air Italy has added Athens as a new destination to its network, thanks to the signing of a new Special Prorate Agreement with Aegean Airlines.
Air Italy passengers traveling from the four US destinations – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and New York – and from Toronto can now easily reach the Greek capital via Air Italy’s Milan Malpensa hub, continuing with flights directly to Athens on Aegean Airlines.
In addition, all Air Italy customers departing from the main airports of central and southern Italy, such as Rome, Naples, Palermo, Catania, Lamezia Terme, Cagliari and Olbia will now have the opportunity to fly Athens via Malpensa.
Air Italy has added 10 new destinations to its network through the signing of a Special Prorate Agreement with Alaska Airlines.
The new interline agreement starts the airlines’ partnership with 10 destinations across the US and Mexico: Anchorage, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland, Palm Springs, San Diego, Newark, San Jose (CA) and Guadalajara (Mexico).
Air Italy passengers will now be able to connect to AS’s network at Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York (JFK) airports, which Air Italy serves directly from Milan Malpensa with its fleet of Airbus 330-200 aircraft offering 24 fully flatbed seats in Business Class and 228 seats in Economy Class.
The agreement builds on the launch of Air Italy’s nonstop flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco in April 2019 and to New York in 2018.
The new SPA agreement builds on the launch of Air Italy flights from California, Toronto, New York and Miami to Milan, all of which enable more customers across North America to experience the airline’s new product offerings and Italian hospitality.
All inbound Air Italy passengers can take advantage of seamless domestic connections between Milan and central and southern Italy, namely Rome, Naples, Palermo, Catania, Lamezia Terme, Cagliari and Olbia.
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.
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.
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.