DALLAS — Italian flag carrier ITA Airways (AZ) celebrated the arrival of the first All-Blue Airbus A220 aircraft this week, almost a year after taking delivery of the first unit in December 2022.
The prior four airframes that progressively joined the AZ’s operations were painted in the “Born to be Sustainable” special colors—the aircraft had a completely white fuselage and tail, with only the basic ITA titles and the corresponding slogan displayed.
Francesco Presicce, CTO of ITA Airways, said, “Today we add to our fleet the first Airbus A220 completely built according to ITA Airways’ new cabin design… The A220 will allow the company to enhance its domestic and international network and represents a further step in our strategy of building a new fuel-efficient and more sustainable fleet.”
This fifth unit, registered as EI-HHM, was ferried on August 25 from the Airbus’s assembly line in Mirabel (YMX), Canada, to Rome-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) with a refueling stop at London-Stansted (STN).
ITA expects to operate a total of 22 Airbus A220 family aircraft in the coming years; seven A220-100s direct from Airbus, and 15 A220-300s dry-leased from the AirLease Corporation.
ITA’s Full Airbus Fleet Goals
ITA Airways was established as the successor to Alitalia, the former national airline before it declared bankruptcy. Alitalia faced criticism for its financial instability and poor management, leading to its cessation of operations in October 2021.
During the transition from Alitalia to ITA Airways, many aspects of the route network and alliances were retained. However, one significant change was the implementation of the “Full-Airbus Policy,” which involved retiring all Boeing and Embraer aircraft from service.
Presently, AZ operates an exclusive fleet of Airbus aircraft, including five A220s, 18 A319s, 26 A320s, 8 A320neos, 12 A330s, and six Airbus A350-900s. Following the discontinuation of Alitalia’s operations, all remaining A321s were retired and will be replaced in the future by the A321neo family.
During the delivery ceremony, Presicce added, “With the arrival of the A321neo by the end of this year, the ITA Airways fleet will include all the latest generation Airbus aircraft families.”
Goodbye to the “Eurowhite” Livery Trend
In recent decades, Europe has witnessed a significant trend, particularly in the past ten years, where iconic aircraft liveries have followed a repetitive pattern after the introduction of Air France’s “Eurowhite” livery in the 1970s. This trend involves leaving the fuselage predominantly white and applying paint only to the tail, along with the logo.
In an interview with Airways, Landor & Fitch’s Executive Creative Director, Ryan Frost, said, “When you look across European airlines, it is hard to differentiate them, and our job as brand consultants is to carve out differentiation in the marketplace to help our customers.”
“If everything looks the same,” he continued, “then we are not empowering our customers to understand the difference and make an informed decision; the livery itself is a promise of that experience. Airlines therefore completely lose the opportunity to promote their differentiation.”
Nowadays, there are only a handful of airlines that maintain vibrant and distinctive liveries on their aircraft. Examples of such airlines include KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL), JetBlue (B6), and AZ.
What are your thoughts on AZ’s “All-Blue” livery? Do you believe it effectively conveys the message that the airline aims to establish in the market? We invite you to share your opinions on our social media platforms!
Featured image: ITA Airways A220-300. Photo: ITA Airways via Twitter