The rumours about Meridiana’s rebranding have been circulating for some time, but have now been confirmed. The airline is to become known as Air Italy.
Yes, we’ve had an Air Italy before. It ran from 2005-2011 flying Boeing 737 and 767, before it became completely merged with Meridiana by 2013.
Now, with national carrier Alitalia suffering yet more woes and uncertainties over its future, Meridiana is making a push to becoming Italy’s main carrier, with a name to suit.
A press conference was held to make the announcement and reveal the new branding, which features a new logo and livery for the aircraft. It includes purple and turquoise colours on a white background. See the mockup here.
Various Qatar Airways executives were also at the conference. Meridiana has a strong partnership with Qatar Airways, which has given guidance on operations as well as connectivity into its own worldwide network.
“Our ambition is strong now as it has been throughout our history, starting with the aim of assisting in the development of tourism in Costa Smeralda and, later, to develop the leisure and charter Italian market,” the Chairman of Alisarda, Marco Rigotti, said. “Over the last 10 years, Meridiana has witnessed the radical transformation of the European aviation industry, characterised by a fierce competition. AirItaly aims to be a leader in the global industry, thanks to the airline’s hub in Milan Malpensa, and the reinforced base of Rome Fiumicino, alongside the seasonal network from Olbia’s Costa Smeralda heritage base which is also the headquarters of the airline.”
The airline currently operates a fleet of Boeing 737-700, -800, 767-300 and Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
It will soon welcome its first of eight new Boeing 737 MAX 8, which will arrive wearing the new livery and branding, ready for a new era of the airline. It will also take a number of second-hand A330s from Qatar Airways to help grow its total fleet to around 50 aircraft by 2022. Boeing 787s will be added in 2019.
The Boeing 767 fleet will be retired in 2019.
New long-haul routes to New York and Miami, already announced, and Bangkok, will help Air Italy secure a greater reach, alongside new short-haul routes over coming years.