EGO Airways: Italy’s Newest Airline

Filed Under: Other Airlines

There’s a new Italian airline that’s supposed to launch operations in a couple of months. No, not Italian Airways, which is from the founders of Air Italy (which ceased operations). And no, not the “new” Alitalia, which looks a whole lot like the old (bankrupt) Alitalia. Rather we’re talking about EGO Airways.

What is Italy’s EGO Airways?

EGO Airways is a new Italian airline that just put tickets on sale for travel as of March 2021. The airline will initially operate point-to-point routes within Italy.

That’s an interesting name for an airline, and I’m not sure I really get it. EGO Airways’ website doesn’t do much to clarify things, because it explains it as follows (this is the English version of the website, and not me using Google Translate, or anything):

Have you ever wondered what’s the story about your name? The name is that incredible and intangible gift following through each one of us throughout the journey of life. It is with us from the day we are given birth, in order to be remembered forever.

The name is a matter of fact the self-awareness of that part of us that is spirit, that distinguish us as unique individual, but brings us as well the joy to be potentially called by others and become part of a community.

Itā€™s the transposition of the I, of that identifying image of the self firstly hypothesize by Sigmund Freud: the EGO.

Well that clears things up… šŸ˜‰

Anyway, let’s talk about the airline:

EGO Airways fleet

EGO Airways will initially operate a fleet of two Embraer E190 aircraft, featuring 100 seats each. The Embraer E190 is a bit larger than your typical regional jet, but not quite as big as most mainline aircraft.

EGO Airways is acquiring used planes, which makes perfect sense, given the secondhand market. EGO Airways’ first plane has the registration code I-EGOA. The plane was manufactured in 2008, and flew for Panama’s COPA Airlines for over a decade.

One of the planes will initially be based at Forli Airport (FRL), while the other plane will initially be based at Catania Fontanarossa Airport (CTA).

EGO Airways onboard product & service

It would appear that EGO Airways’ E190s will feature three different products, including:

  • PRIVATE Class (business class)
  • JUST GO LOUNGE Class (extra legroom economy class)
  • JUST GO Class (standard economy class)

Here’s a chart showing the differences between the products:

A couple of thoughts:

  • Calling an Embraer business class product “PRIVATE” sure is gutsy
  • Based on the planes having 100 seats, I wouldn’t expect legroom to be particularly good in regular economy, since 100 seats is a standard layout for this plane

What should we expect from the onboard service? EGO Airways is promising:

  • “Extremely refined interiors”
  • “Fresh Italian products,” including “vegan, protein, and super health meals for those who do not want to give up their lifestyle even when traveling”
  • “Taste experiences linked both to the territory of departure and to that of destination” (talk about really regionalized cuisine for a domestic airline!)
  • “An attentive service in all three classes”

EGO Airways routes

EGO Airways tickets are now on sale, and the airline will launch operations as of March, and then progressively ramp up its schedule.

As of March 28, 2021, EGO Airways will offer service to the airports of Forli, Florence, Catania, Parma, Bari, and Lamezia Terme. Then as of June 4, 2021, EGO Airways will add service to the airports of Cagliari, Bergamo, and Rome.

Here’s a schedule showing the initial expected frequencies:

Interestingly EGO Airways will largely be serving routes that aren’t served by other airlines, and in some cases the airline will even be trying to compete with train service, which counters the trend in much of Europe, given the focus on minimizing emissions.

EGO Airways fares

As is the case at most airlines, EGO Airways’ fares are dynamic. The starting fares are quite reasonable, with economy starting at 50 EUR one-way, and business class starting at 100 EUR one-way.

My take on EGO Airways

I have no clue whether EGO Airways will be profitable or not, especially given the timing of the airline launching operations. But I do feel strongly that this is a less bad business model than the other “reimagined” Italian airlines we’re seeing.

EGO Airways will serve markets that largely don’t otherwise have direct connections, and the airline is starting small, with just two planes. This seems to me like a more realistic airline startup than Italian Airways or the “new” Alitalia.

Bottom line

EGO Airways will be launching operations in March 2021. The Italian airline will operate point-to-point routes in Italy with Embraer E190 aircraft. The airline will even offer a premium cabin, though I’d manage my expectations, because I think the airline might be overpromising there.

While this is hardly the most exciting airline startup we’ve ever seen (it’s no Baltia or Global Ghana Airlines), it does seem like it has a niche…

What do you make of EGO Airways?

(Tip of the hat to nikojas)

  1. The have, at least, focussed on routes that are poorly served by or just take a long time on high speed rail.

  2. EGO = look up the Greek origins of the word and it might make more sense! At its core, Ego means ā€œMeā€ or ā€œIā€, as opposed to ego for just egoism.

  3. I wonder what the livery is on the left side. On the right side the EGO letters strike me as two forward facing “smilies” and a third one sideways facing the first two.

  4. Allow me to add a few tidbits.
    Bari is relatively remote when considering train travel. For certain reasons Bari-Rom is at least 5 hours by train though it really need not be. On the other hand Bari flights to FCO or airports of Milan can be downright cheap, even cheaper than the dares listed for EGO.
    There are flights connecting Firenze to many Cities. I am not sure if this is planned so as to make tourist access easier or to accommodate and thrive on Italians attending Business fairs in Firenze. The fairs are in Firenze and small/medium businesses are in places like Bari and Catania.

  5. The plane appears to come from WDL Aviation/Zeitfracht. Would be interesting if might even be a wet lease, but I guess we’ll see.

    What I found odd is that neither their Private nor their lounge class includes lounge access. Based on the name I would have at least assumed that.

  6. This actually doesnā€™t seem like a bad idea. Novel routes, prices that arenā€™t too bad, and the E190 is a pretty nice plane to fly on…I think I might be taking one of their flights next time Iā€™m in Italy. Assuming, of course, that they still exist…

  7. Their name is really strange, because also Italian it has a rather negative conotation …

    But the business model doesn’t seem too bad. They focus first on routes which are not served by Alitalia, at least not with direct flights. Also the routes don’t have a good/fast train connection. And despite the lack of good connections, they do have some market potential, perhaps with the exception of Forli. Forli has only about 100’000 inhabitants and is not too far from Bologna, Venice and Rimini – but each of these larger cities have relatively well served airports which are closer.

    On the plus side is the selection of aircraft. The E-190 are quite economical and have a good reputation amongst passengers. Sticking to one type of aircraft certainly helps operations a lot.

  8. When I first heard ‘Italian domestic airline’ I thought ‘oh god, here we go again’ because the Italian train network is already pretty good and Ryanair do lots of domestic flying in Italy already (and Italians seem to actually quite like Ryanair).

    But reading the whole business model its actually not such a bad idea. They are picking smart routes, especially out to islands where there is no easy train ride. If they keep it small and be very careful with their expansion, this could work. Forli is an odd choice considering its close proximity to much larger airports like Bologna and Florence. But we will see – perhaps they know something we don’t?

  9. @Rick – Flag denotes the country of registration of the particular aircraft. If they use a German-registered planes for whatever reason, they will bear a German flag.

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