DALLAS — Italian carrier ITA Airways (AZ) has become the 21st operator of the Airbus A330neo family, taking delivery of its first aircraft of the type today May 26, 2023.
The delivery ceremony was held at Airbus’ mega factory at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS) between the builder and ITA’s headboard. The delivery flight is scheduled to depart towards Rome-Fiumicino (FCO) at 17:30 local time, arriving in Italy 1:50h later.
Francesco Presicce, CTO of ITA Airways, said, “Today the strategic partnership with Airbus takes one step forward. With Airbus, the unique aircraft supplier for our fleet, we have created a special synergy from the beginning, involving different areas of collaboration and business development, always with the aim of realizing a more modern, comfortable, and fuel-efficient air mobility, equipped with cutting-edge technologies.”
The airplane registered as EI-HJN, is the first of a total of 10 units ordered by AZ, all of them being the longer A330-900 variant of the jet. Five of them will not be fully purchased by the Italian carrier but will be operated under a dry-lease agreement with the Air Lease Corporation (ALC), one of the largest leasing companies in the aviation industry.
The news of the delivery comes on the heels of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance giving the green light for the Lufthansa Group to purchase 41% of AZ.
The Role of the A330neo in ITA
The arrival of the Airbus A330neo to AZ means that the range of aircraft of the company will be expanded to six different families of aircraft: the Airbus A220, A320, A320neo, A330, A330neo, and A350 series. The airline currently operates a well-sized fleet of 68 aircraft in total.
The A330neo family of jets will serve as a boost in AZ’s long-haul service efficiency, size, and comfort, beginning commercial operations as early as next month, in June. Specifically, for the moment the newest widebody jet of the airline will be seen on three transatlantic routes and one Asian flight.
Starting on June 1, the inaugural flight of the A330neo will connect the city of Rome (FCO) with Florida’s largest, Miami (MIA). It will be followed by the operation of flights as well to New York (JFK) and Sao Paulo (GRU), on June 2 and 3, respectively. The fourth destination assigned is New Delhi (DEL), in India, starting on July 3, 2023.
An “Award-Winning Airspace Cabin”
That is the description AZ has placed on the inflight experience products the Airbus A330neo will offer to customers flying on long-haul flights operated by the type. The layout presented on this aircraft is distributed along three different classes, created by the famous designer Walter De Silva.
In Business Class, passengers can expect 30 reclining Thompson Vantage XL seats, featuring a large 17.3″ IFE screen with 4K resolution. The Premium Economy cabin features 24 total seats, allowing a more comfortable upgraded journey, especially notable on the longer Rome to Sao Paulo flights.
Finally, the Economy Class cabin will be able to carry 237 passengers. 36 of those Safran seats will be branded as “Comfort Economy,” which offers greater legroom for taller passengers and those wanting to travel more comfortably as well.
Are you excited as well about experiencing the nicely looking passenger cabin of AZ? Be sure to check out as well our special YouTube video talking about the ITA Airways modern Airbus A350XWB aircraft.
Featured image: Airbus