In September 2017, Qatar Airways purchased a 49% interest in Meridiana, adding to their repertoire of holdings in foreign airlines. Previous owner Alisarda is still holding on to 51% interest. Meridiana is Italy’s second largest carrier behind Alitalia, which is partly owned by Etihad Airways. Alitalia filed for administration last year, and Lufthansa and EasyJet. The intention of Qatar Airways’ acquisition was to bolster connectivity of Meridiana to the United States and other European Destinations.
At the time of the acquisition, H.E. Al-Baker said Meridiana would receive Boeing 737 MAXs ordered by Qatar Airways, and they could use 20, which will be delivered this quarter onwards.
The new brand and livery, Air Italy, was introduced a couple of months ago. Air Italy planned to start flying from Milan to both Miami and New York by this June. They’ll also add additional flights from Milan to Catania, Naples, Palermo, and Rome—plus the small Calabrian town of Lamezia Terme.
Additionally, Air Italy would use 5 ex-Qatar Airways Airbus A330s to operate their long-haul routes for the moment, and next year, start leasing 30 Boeing 787s from Qatar Airways, which will be added to their fleet.
Air Italy Mumbai Milan flights
Just yesterday, Air Italy made their new route announcements. They plan to introduce Milan Malpensa – Mumbai service from October 30, 2018, with 5 weekly A330-200 flights. The flight will be operated as per the following schedule:
IG928 BOM0450 – 0920MXP 332 34567
IG927 MXP1420 – 0250(+1)BOM 332 23456
The new flight will operate from Milan to Mumbai every week Tuesday to Saturday, and on the return from Mumbai, every Wednesday to Sunday. I’d say that is a great amount of connectivity between the two routes.
They have already loaded the flight for sale, and since these A330-200s are heading in from Qatar Airways, you should expect a much better product than the existing Air Italy one. There are some fantastic prices already put out, such as 28K INR in November.
This is great news for those who fly to Italy often, given this now becomes the third service from India to Italy and the first from Mumbai which is directly flying to Milan. Air India already operates a service on their Boeing 787-8s to Rome/Milan, and Alitalia recently launched a service to Delhi. Jet Airways used to operate to Milan a long time back but pulled out long back from that route.
This is great news especially for my fashion buddies, who hop over to Milan all the time for their fashion beat.
What do you think of this new airline coming to Mumbai? Excited much?