DALLAS – Italian flag carrier ITA Airways (AZ) presents its first Airbus A350, fresh out of the paint shop and ready to join AZ’s fleet.
The airline’s new A350s previously belonged to the Chinese carrier, Hainan Airlines (HU). However, due to financial difficulties, the jets were never delivered to the Chinese airline. AZ decided to lease six Airbus A350s for long-haul flights to complete its fleet revamp, cutting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 25% with the new types.
The newly-painted aircraft is a brand-new Airbus A350-900 that was manufactured in 2018 and has never been in operation. The type will become AZ’s flagship and the largest in the existing fleet, and it will be used for intercontinental trips, particularly to North America, according to airlinegeeks.com.
According to airfleets.net, AZ has 18 A319-100, 30 A320-200, and seven A330-200 in its fleet, apart from the new A350-900s, which should arrive in June 2022.
One of the airline’s main priorities was the Airbus A350, which was critical for its long-haul strategy, which involves services to North America, including Boston, Miami, and Los Angeles; and South America, including Buenos Aires and San Paulo, and eventually to Tokyo Haneda, commencing in May 2022.
The Airbus A350 comes in two versions, and ITA Airways chose the 900, which has 315 seats in a three-class layout. Although nothing is known about the interiors, they were previously finished for HU and so do not match those of AZ.
Marcello Lippi, the coach who led the Italian national soccer team to victory in the 2006 World Cup, was honored with the aircraft’s name.
Featured image: ITA Airways