Italian Airline Neos Plans USA Flights

Filed Under: Other Airlines

Another foreign airline has just requested permission to start flying to the US…

Italy’s Neos intends to fly to the US

Last Friday Neos filed with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to request permission to start flying to the United States. The airline is seeking permission to operate foreign scheduled air transportation of persons, property, and mail, under the full extent of the US & EU Air Transport Agreement.

The airline is asking for expedited approval, and claims it will start marketing these flights as soon as the DOT approves the application.

The airline hasn’t explicitly stated in which markets it plans to operate, so we’ll have to wait to learn more about Neos’ US flight plans.

Neos Boeing 787-9

What is Neos, anyway?

Neos is an Italian leisure airline that was founded nearly two decades ago, in 2002. The airline operates out of several airports in Italy, with its largest operations out of Milan.

Neos currently has a fleet of 12 aircraft, including six Boeing 737-800s, and six Boeing 787-9s (the airline used to also operate 767s, but these were retired and replaced by 787s). As far as the 787-9s go:

Neos Boeing 787-9 premium economy

Neos Boeing 787-9 economy

Neos has historically operated its 737s primarily within Europe and to Africa, while 787s have been used for flights to Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Mexico. The airline is extremely leisure oriented, operating to destinations like Freeport, Havana, Male, Montego Bay, Sharm El Sheikh, etc.

With that in mind, I’m curious to see what Neos’ US strategy will be:

  • Perhaps there is a gap in the market here in the near future, with Norwegian no longer operating long haul flights, Air Italy having liquidated, and Alitalia being… well, Alitalia
  • Will the airline just do the predictable, and operate flights from Milan and/or Rome to places like Los Angeles and/or New York, or is there another strategy here?

Bottom line

Italian low cost carrier Neos intends to start operating transatlantic flights to the United States. A vast majority of the time when airlines intend to start US flights I point out that the flights will almost certainly lose money, though perhaps there is some potential for Neos here?

Neos has fuel efficient 787s, and benefits from Air Italy being out of business, Norwegian having stopped long haul flights, and Alitalia reorganizing. Once borders reopen, I could definitely see there being demand for nonstop, affordable flights between the US and Italy. And arguably this is even a decent time for the airline to be considering the US market, given that it’s expected most Americans will have access to vaccines by May.

What do you make of Neos launching flights to the US? What routes do you think the airline will operate?

  1. They are already flying to JFK. They’ve converted one of their 787 to do cargo service every Saturday.

  2. I wonder what their market might be. I understand that people with double cititzenship, as well as some other small groups such as diplomats, can travel between the US and Schengen countries. And this will be the case for a very long time.

    Now, Neos is clearly not targeting the diplomatic/expat market. Therefore their application for traffic rights makes no sense to me …

  3. Semi-off topic, but is it just me or does Neos’ livery look exactly like TUIs but with different text and a different logo on the tail?

  4. @Hotel Sierra Kilo, in the beginning, Tui was co-owner, so that’s where the look come from. Tui later sold their share. The blue colour is still the same, but the logo is different.

  5. @Hotel Sierra kilo

    Yes. Neos was originally a joint venture between TUI and Italian tour operator Alpitour. Alpitour purchased Tui’s shares a number of years ago but the similar livery remained. Of course TUI modified their livery with the delivery of their 787s so the similarities are less obvious to the non avgeek.

  6. Agree it’s MXP-MIA (or maybe FLL). Used to be served by both Air Italy and AA, now neither. Italians aren’t big on Disney World, so I doubt MCO or SFB.

  7. They want open new Flight Milan MXP – New York JFK 3x week, at moment they flight one time a week as cargo Flight.

  8. I’ve been nagging NEOs owner Lupo Rattazzi for years to start a direct Milan-MXP to IAD service.
    NEOs, which is owned by John Elkann of FCA-Chrysler, now has fresh cash to Invest after the takeover by PSA.
    A strong international airline out of Milan makes sense as Alitalia-Delta-Aeroflot has FCO.

  9. Well, Alitalia is AZ. But there is always something ‘ COOKING’. To bring in NEOS is superb! Well done, AZ. Yes, they are all AZs’ babies such as : AirDelmit, Alpine Tours is Alipine Air a subdivision of ALITALIA GROUP or Gruppo Alitalia. ATI Tech was part of AZ. Air Italy was ATI . It’s main base was Napoli, Italia. EuroFly was also an AZ creation in MXP ( Malpensa, Italia ). I remember it’s birth when I was flying into MXP . It was Green Tail Super80 Light green and Forest green, and Dark Blue Name Letters: EURPFLY. The only reginal airline within MXP ,it was . Plus , Meridiana was ALISARDI ( Aerio Linie Sardenia ). Yes, people will say that I do not know what I’m saying. O.K.. Then , there is this new small reginal airline called: EGO. Remember, the Italian Government needs money, so they will lease such as: FS Lines to other companies which are willing to pay for ‘ rails lines ‘ , so why not ‘ air lines or routes ‘ . These are owned by the Italia transportation authorities . There is a BIG UNDER-LINED issue, here. THE VAULE OF RENTING OUT THE AIRLINE ROUTES TO OTHERS.

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