MIAMI — Italian flag carrier, Alitalia, is ready to take delivery of its three Airbus A321neos while it continues to operate under exclusive administration.

As the carrier continues to operate in the face of mounting uncertainty over its future beyond 2019, Alitalia is now embarking on a small scale fleet modernization, which will see a limited number of second-hand new generation Airbus A321neo join its fleet in the coming months.

Alitalia A321 EI-IXH Malta International Airport

Having entered bankruptcy protection in May 2017, the carrier went on to receive over €1 billion in emergency funding from the Italian government, which had to be paid by the beginning of December.

The original deadline for repayment of the loan has since been extended until June 2019, as the airline and government scramble to find a prospective buyer.

These incoming new generation Airbus A321neos, previously operated by now-defunct Primera Air, will enable Alitalia to reap the immediate financial benefits of lower fuel burn on many of its popular routes.

The three aircraft, owned by leasing companies GECAS and Celestial, will inject a breath of fresh air to the ill-fated airline, which just recorded yet another record-breaking month as Europe’s most on-time airline.

The airline continues to operate many of the earliest-built examples of the Airbus A321, which were produced in the mid-1990s. Having taken delivery of their first example back in November 1994, many of these aging Airbus’s continue to fly with Alitalia.

The first A321neo the carrier will take delivery of will be OY-PAC, previously delivered to Primera Air Scandinavia in May 2018.

With Primera Air having ceased operations, at the end of September, this A321neo, along with another pair, remain in temporary storage at Newquay Airport.

Soon, the plane is to be repainted into Alitalia’s colors and delivered to Rome, entering service by January 2019.