MIAMI – According to the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera, ITA-Italia Trasporto Aereo, the new company to take over from Alitalia (AZ), has its first aircraft, a necessary step in order to secure an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and start operations.
The aircraft, an Airbus 330-200 registered as Ei-EJN and named after the Italian painter identified with the Venetian school, Tintoretto, has been seen still wearing the AZ livery but sporting a large sticker carrying the ITA logo and indicating ” Operated by ITA”. According to the newspaper, a second aircraft, an AZ Airbus 320, will soon be following and form a fleet embryo.
The aircraft is under lease from APC Ltd. (Aircraft Purchase Company Ltd.), one of the various lease companies providing aircraft to AZ, is nine years old, and, according to the aforementioned news outlet, has a cost of US$200,000 per month, a fair price for this type considering the present situation and the age.
An All-Airbus Fleet?
The Italian newspaper went on to state the as of yet unconfirmed information that ITA will start test flights in August as part of the procedure to obtain a COA and an Italian license so as to begin the business and start selling tickets.
ITA’s industrial plan foresees a fleet of 52 aircraft out of which seven are dedicated to long-haul traffic. Although no final decision has been announced, it would seem that ITA is steering towards an all-Airbus fleet, both on the long and medium-range sectors, and the planemaker might be ready to supply A350 and A320neo at advantageous conditions. However, nothing is yet final on the issue.
Whatever the fleet supplier may be, ITA will have to revert to the lease market, while waiting to receive its own aircraft, most probably with a mix of Airbus types and Boeing 777, two types for which the aviation sector directly acquired from AZ is already rated and ready to fly.
Featured image: ITA-Alitalia Airbus 330-200 EI-EJN Tintoretto – Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways