Air Italy marked a first in Italian aviation with the touchdown of its Boeing B737 Max in new livery at Milan-Malpensa Airport.
This is the first aircraft that has kickstarted a complete rollover of the airline’s fleet. The Sardinia-based carrier is undergoing a major expansion as a result of Qatar Airways taking a 49 per cent stake in its parent holding company.
Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker, said, “It is truly a remarkable moment to be witnessing the launch of a new era in Italian aviation. The touchdown of Air Italy’s first Boeing B737 Max in new livery at Milan marks the beginning of a new travel experience for the people of Italy. Not only are we pleased to be part of this memorable moment, but we are delighted to be supporting it by leasing Air Italy with five Airbus A330-200 aircraft this year from the Qatar Airways fleet.”
The inaugural aircraft is the first of nearly 50 new aircraft that will be added to the Air Italy fleet by 2022. This is the first of 20 brand new Boeing B737 Max aircraft that will join the airline over the next three years. Further plans also include strengthening the short-range network to improve connectivity and launching the first long-range destination from Rome Fiumicino in 2019. Air Italy aims to fly more than 50 year-round routes by 2022.
The airline will also lease five Airbus A330-200 aircraft this year from Qatar Airways’ fleet, prior to these being further replaced by Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft.