MIAMI – Today, Alitalia’s successor, ITA, announced its fleet plans, with a total of 56 next-generation Airbus aircraft, turning the page in Italian commercial aviation.
Among the aircraft chosen to be purchased by the airline were 10 A330neos, seven A220s, and 11 A320neos. ITA will also lease a further 31 aircraft from Air Lease Corporation, bringing the total number of new aircraft to 56.
For long haul operations, ITA will lease Airbus A350-900s from Air Lease Corporation, complementing the A330neo to be purchased by the airline.
The airline expects the new aircraft to enter service at the end of Q1 in 2022, and will make up 70% of its fleet by 2025.
As ITA prepares to take over for Alitalia in two weeks’ time, the airline’s bold fleet renewal plans will dramatically shake up the European aviation industry.
At long last, the state-owned airline will have access to more fuel-efficient aircraft, contrasting Alitalia’s (AZ) aging fleet.
Benefits of a New Fleet
A simplified fleet structure will not only lower training and operational costs but will also allow the airline to effectively compete with larger airlines.
Additionally, by choosing a single aircraft supplier, spare parts and maintenance will be more efficient and cost-effective.
With a new fleet undoubtedly comes a new generation of hard products for the airline, which will be a true make-or-break challenge for the airline.
A strong cabin product, coupled with renowned Italian service and comfortable next-generation aircraft could be a fast pass for the airline to become a distinct competitor in the European market.
What About Boeing?
Italy, once a bastion for Boeing with Neos and Alitalia as loyal customers, has turned to Airbus as a new page is turned for the market.
Throughout its history, Alitalia has operated a total of 44 Boeing aircraft, including Boeing 737s, 22 747s, 767s, and currently operates six 777s.
Once a ubiquitous sight, Boeing 747s adorned with the Alitalia livery were a core of the airline’s long-haul operations. Now, the airline’s successor has turned to Airbus for its fleet.
The French aerospace giant’s Airbus A320neo and A220 families, in particular, have become popular with European carriers.
ITA Executive Chairman, Alfredo Altavilla, said, “The strategic partnership with Airbus and ALC is crucial for ITA to jumpstart our Business Plan aiming at achieving our targets of a new environmental-friendly fleet with significantly lower operating and leasing costs.”
“These transactions will allow ITA to operate the most technologically advanced new aircraft to cover ITA’s European and Intercontinental route network with great efficiency”, said Steven F Udvar-Hazy, Executive Chairman of Air Lease Corporation.
Featured image: Airbus A220-300 cockpit. Photo: Airbus