Tag Archives: Air Italy

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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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 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:

Poll:

Milan Malpensa sets a new passenger record in 2018

The history books have been rewritten as SEA’s Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) confirmed the continuation of its positive traffic growth, with 24.6 million passengers being handled in 2018, seeing the facility not only reach but smash its previous throughput record (2007: 23.7 million).

This industry-leading result (+11.5% year-on-year) further consolidates a trend that has seen Malpensa not only grow continuously for three years with above-average rates, but also sees it rank highly among Europe’s major airports (those over 20 million passengers) for its traffic growth rate. In 2019, the goal is for annual throughput to exceed 25 million passengers for the first time, and in breaking this threshold, it will push MXP into the top league of European airports.

The airport’s development is robust, as it is supported by all the main traffic segments: long-haul; low-cost; and legacy. Together with several other European and overseas fast-growing airlines, Air Italy is undoubtedly one of the major contributing factors of MXP’s continued success, thanks to its new positioning in the Italian market with Malpensa acting as its hub and base. Its intercontinental connections (New York, Miami, Bangkok, Delhi and Mumbai) and domestic flights (Rome, Naples, Lamezia Terme, Catania, Palermo and Olbia) inaugurated in 2018, will be joined by the already announced new routes for S19, namely Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto and Cagliari. “Despite some of the new destinations having had an annual O&D demand of over 100,000 travellers, surprisingly they had not been served by any airline for a decade,” says Andrea Tucci, VP Aviation Business Development at SEA.

Among the fastest growing European country markets from MXP in 2018 were the domestic Italian market, along with Germany and Spain. When it comes to long-haul the top markets were the US, China and Canada. “We fully expect the North Atlantic to be one of this year’s star performers,” explains Tucci. “2018 already gave a boost to our intercontinental traffic, growing by 7.8%, and we expect some further development in the short-term.”

The prolonged period of growth at Malpensa is not only driving its traffic volumes, but also the quality of its customer portfolio – the airport is now served by 105 airlines – and its network of 210 destinations. As a result of the expansion in the markets / countries served from MXP, in W18 the airport ranked ninth in the world, and sixth in Europe, in relation to the number of countries served on non-stop flights, ahead of many major hubs such as Munich and Madrid.

“Malpensa was built as a hub airport and it is exciting to see it being used in that way again,” enthuses Tucci. “The 10 million inhabitants of Lombardy, Italy’s wealthiest region, need and deserve a true hub and spoke carrier and the connecting opportunities that such a network approach brings. With 70% of the country’s outbound traffic generated in our Northern Italy catchment, we are confident about our future traffic development.”

In an attempt to push the airport’s passenger numbers even higher, SEA Milan, on behalf of Milan and the Lombardy Region, will host the 26th World Routes network development conference, taking place between 5-8 September next year. The three-day gathering allows senior airport and airline decision makers to meet face-to-face and discuss the future of air services, develop and plan network strategy and explore new route opportunities.

The Milan airport system closed 2018 with a total of 33.7 million passengers, an increase of 7% compared to 2017, with Milan Linate having delivered 9.2 million passengers, down -3.3% year-on-year. This result was due in a large part to the restructuring of both Alitalia and Air Italy at Linate, with the carriers’ major international business routes still undergoing a period of consolidation.

New routes already launched in 2019:
13 January – Neos, weekly service to Guiyan (new destination).

New routes still to launch in 2019:
22 February – Wizz Air, daily service to Vienna;
12 March – Ernest, twice-weekly service to Kharkiv (new destination);
14 March – Neos, weekly service to Luxor;
19 March – Wizz Air, twice-weekly service to Ohrid (new destination);
31 March – Air Italy, daily service to Cagliari;
1 April – Ryanair, daily service to Madrid;
2 April – Ryanair, twice-weekly service to Almeria (new destination);
3 April – Air Italy, four times weekly service to Los Angeles (new destination);
10 April – Air Italy, four times weekly service to San Francisco (new destination);
6 May – Air Italy, four times weekly service to Toronto Pearson;
14 May – Air Italy, three times weekly service to Chicago O’Hare (new destination);
21 May – Neos, weekly service to Mersa Matruh (new destination);
1 June – Neos, weekly service to Samos (new destination);
3 June – Neos, weekly services to Malaga and Corfu;
3 June – Ryanair, three times weekly service to Heraklion;
7 June – Neos, weekly service to Larnaca;
12 June – Neos, weekly service to Chania;
29 June – SAS, weekly service to Stavanger (new destination);
30 June – SAS, twice-weekly service to Bergen (new destination).

All photos by MXP.

Air Italy Milan – Miami route to go year-round

Air Italy (3rd) Airbus A330-202 EI-GFX (msn 571) MXP (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 942617.

Air Italy has announced that thanks to popular demand, the Miami-Milan Malpensa route launched on June 8, 2018, is now on sale for the entire winter season.

“Thanks to a great response from our customers and increasing demand, we are opening up our winter inventory for our MilanMiami flight, as we are already running at a load factor of over 80%. This expansion is a testament to our business plan and product offering, and is simply a response to the great support which we have been receiving from our customers,” said Neil Mills, Air Italy Chief Operating Officer

“Just last week we took delivery of our second Boeing 737 Max 8 after a successful showing at the Farnborough Airshow, and as our fleet continues to expand, we look forward to rolling out more frequencies and new destinations over the coming weeks and months to provide our new services to our rapidly growing customer base.”

The New YorkMilan route is also on sale for the winter season and is available five times per week on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

For Miami, the frequencies will remain four times per week, on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and the service will be operated by an Airbus A330-200, with a configuration of 24 seats in Business Class and 228 seats in Economy Class.

In addition, for the upcoming winter season, Air Italy is also providing ideal connections and great fares form New York to India’s Mumbai and Delhi via Malpensa.

All Air Italy’s new services between Milan Malpensa and the USA, India and Thailand, are being operated with Air Italy’s new long-haul Airbus A330-200, which offers up to 24 seats in the exclusive Business Class cabin making it is possible to fly with maximum comfort in fully lie-flat seats with signature Italian cuisine accompanied by a selection of champagnes and Italian fine wines, Wi-Fi service, along with an extensive inflight entertainment service and the personalized attention from its on-board staff.

The Economy Class cabin with 228 seats also provides Air Italy’s guests with highly personalized service, WiFi connectivity, carefully crafted Italian cuisine and a wide selection of entertainment.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Air Italy): Air Italy (3rd) Airbus A330-202 EI-GFX (msn 571) MXP (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 942617.

Air Italy (3rd) aircraft slide show:

Air Italy’s first Milan – Miami flight takes off from Malpensa

Air Italy's first Airbus A330-200

Air Italy’s first flight from Milan (Malpensa) to Miami took off today (June 8). This follows last week’s launch of daily service to New York (JFK). The new route is being operated with newly acquired Airbus A330-200s.

The next new international route will be from Milan (Malpensa) to Bangkok starting on September 9, 2018. It will be operated four days a week.

Air Italy is full owned by AQA Holdings (51% Alisarda and 49% Qatar Airways).

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Air Italy): Air Italy (3rd) Airbus A330-202 EI-GFX (msn 571) ISS (Marco Finelli). Image: 942229.

Air Italy aircraft slide show: