Italy’s ITA Airways Orders 28 Airbus Aircraft

Italy’s ITA Airways Orders 28 Airbus Aircraft

17

In mid-October ITA Airways was launched, which is Italy’s new national airline that replaces Alitalia. Several weeks ago we learned about the carrier’s fleet plans, and an order has just been finalized with Airbus today.

The basics of ITA Airways

As of October 15, 2021, Alitalia ceased operations, after years of financial struggles. The airline was replaced by Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA), which has a clean balance sheet. The new airline has even joined SkyTeam, and at least initially the airline is looking quite similar to Alitalia. ITA Airways is currently operating a fleet consisting of several former Alitalia aircraft.

One thing that will be different about ITA Airways is the carrier’s future fleet, as the airline has quite some planes on order.

Alitalia will cease operations in mid-October

ITA Airways orders A220s, A320s, and A330s

ITA Airways has today firmed up its order for 28 Airbus aircraft, which was initially announced on September 30, 2021. Thanks to a strategic partnership with Airbus, ITA Airways’ fleet will consist exclusively of Airbus aircraft.

Specifically, ITA Airways has ordered the following 28 new Airbus aircraft, with plans for the first planes to be delivered starting late in the first quarter of 2022. This order includes:

  • 10 Airbus A330neo aircraft
  • 11 Airbus A320neo-family aircraft
  • Seven Airbus A220 aircraft
ITA Airways will exclusively fly Airbus aircraft

ITA Airways leasing 13 A350 aircraft

In addition to the 28 Airbus aircraft that are being acquired directly from Airbus, ITA Airways will also be leasing 13 Airbus A350-900 aircraft from Air Lease Corporation. There are some other Airbus aircraft that might be part of this lease deal as well, though the details surrounding that are still a bit fuzzy.

With this plan, ITA will operate a fleet of 52 Airbus aircraft in the coming months, with plans to grow the fleet to 105 aircraft by 2025. In order to eventually achieve a fleet of 105 aircraft, ITA will be working with six aircraft leasing partners (which is more efficient than the 12 leasing partners that Alitalia had worked with).

The airline claims that the economics of these agreements are great, and that the financing costs are much better than what Alitalia was paying. Furthermore, the airline hopes that by having an all-Airbus fleet, there will be some savings in terms of commonality.

ITA Airways is partnering with Airbus for its fleet

I can’t wait to see ITA’s inflight product!

I’ve gotta be honest, my expectation was that Italy’s new airline would more or less be the same as Alitalia, from the name, to the planes, to the employees. So I’m a little more excited about the airline now that we’ve learned that ITA will have a completely different fleet than Alitalia had.

ITA will operate A350-900s and A330neos on long haul flights, and A320neos and A220s on short haul flights. That’s a pretty awesome fleet, if you ask me. I also can’t wait to see what kind of seats ITA selects for these planes.

ITA Airways will probably have a new business class product

Bottom line

Italy’s new national airline, ITA, launched operations as of October, mostly with former Alitalia aircraft. Fortunately it looks like the carrier’s fleet will be fully refreshed, with latest generation A220, A320, A330, and A350 aircraft soon joining the carrier’s fleet. I can’t wait to learn more…

What do you make of ITA’s fleet plans?

Conversations (17)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Gio Guest

    The CSeries CS300 aka A220-300 will be a great addition to ITA's fleet, it's a superb aircraft. Cannot wait to see it in ITA's blue livery!

  2. Apso Eyot Guest

    Skyteam has too many blue-colored airlines. That new livery is a joke no matter what aircraft type it gets painted on, and I bet soon enough, the Alitalia livery we all recognize will replace it. It’s hard to believe they successfully bid for and got the “Alitalia” brand but choose not to use it at all. I don’t see how this is anything different from before, when the company went from its official name being...

    Skyteam has too many blue-colored airlines. That new livery is a joke no matter what aircraft type it gets painted on, and I bet soon enough, the Alitalia livery we all recognize will replace it. It’s hard to believe they successfully bid for and got the “Alitalia” brand but choose not to use it at all. I don’t see how this is anything different from before, when the company went from its official name being LAI to CAI to SAI, but they still ended up maintaining the “Alitalia” name and branding through all those changes.

  3. John Guest

    Oh, Lordy Lord. A whole bunch of different aircraft types and the same parasitic unions onboard. What could possibly go wrong? Pity the Italian taxpayers.

  4. The Black Brent Guest

    Ah, let's start anew and straightaway order 4 different plane types...this will end well...
    Silly to start flying two different types of widebodies and also two different narrow bodies, so much for simplifying operations or benefiting from commonality.

    100 planes also seems optimistic in 3-4 years time, especially since the LCC's probably will get a big share of the domestic market in the meantime and the likes of QR can take on a big...

    Ah, let's start anew and straightaway order 4 different plane types...this will end well...
    Silly to start flying two different types of widebodies and also two different narrow bodies, so much for simplifying operations or benefiting from commonality.

    100 planes also seems optimistic in 3-4 years time, especially since the LCC's probably will get a big share of the domestic market in the meantime and the likes of QR can take on a big chunk of the international traffic, especially towards Africa / Asia.

  5. Steven E Guest

    Hopefully the culture ( particularly onboard ) will have some new blood with people not believing the carrier “owes” them and that the customer is actually paying their salaries otherwise it will be another union based bloodbath

  6. Stuart Guest

    Given the plethora of newish aircraft sitting in graveyards that are desperate for buyers it is beyond me why any airline would order new these days. Sure, the latest greatest will be more fuel efficient, but at what price?

    1. Max Guest

      The German government was heavily lobbied by Lufthansa to excercise pressure on the EU competition authorities.
      Lufthansa always wanted to buy Alitalia but the old fleet and uncompetitive labour agreements were in their way.
      Essentially Lufthansa gave their wishlist to the German government, they handed it over to the EU authorities and threatened to block any derivations. EU authorities handed it over to Italian government who gave that list to former Alitalia management.

      The German government was heavily lobbied by Lufthansa to excercise pressure on the EU competition authorities.
      Lufthansa always wanted to buy Alitalia but the old fleet and uncompetitive labour agreements were in their way.
      Essentially Lufthansa gave their wishlist to the German government, they handed it over to the EU authorities and threatened to block any derivations. EU authorities handed it over to Italian government who gave that list to former Alitalia management.
      Et voila - ITA was born and will be brought by Lufthansa within 2-3 years. Additionally TAP Portugal ist on their watchlist, as well as SAS (though with lower priority).

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      nice narrative but the whole reason that ITA exists is because Italy is not willing to give up its airline to a mega airline from the UK, France/Holland, or Germany.

  7. Tim Dunn Diamond

    For a fleet of just a few dozen aircraft, four types is excessively complex, esp. considering that the A220 is not common w/ much of anything that Airbus builds - because the A220 is really a Bombardier product.
    How many routes do they really need A350s for? The A330NEO can cover a pretty large chunk of the globe from Italy. The A220 might serve some smaller routes than the A320 family but it adds...

    For a fleet of just a few dozen aircraft, four types is excessively complex, esp. considering that the A220 is not common w/ much of anything that Airbus builds - because the A220 is really a Bombardier product.
    How many routes do they really need A350s for? The A330NEO can cover a pretty large chunk of the globe from Italy. The A220 might serve some smaller routes than the A320 family but it adds a lot of complexity.

    Of course there are good deals on aircraft right now but that doesn't mean that creating a complex fleet will make sense.

    1. Apso Eyot Guest

      I agree that this ITA thing needs better fleet strategy. All they really need is the A350 (former 777 routes and highest prestige routes), the existing A330-200 fleet (maybe throw in some A330neos too?), and the A320neo family.I feel like the A220 order doesn’t make sense especially considering it requires a separate pilot group and Italy’s intercity rail systems are so robust. In fact, this may encourage ITA to focus more on long haul routes...

      I agree that this ITA thing needs better fleet strategy. All they really need is the A350 (former 777 routes and highest prestige routes), the existing A330-200 fleet (maybe throw in some A330neos too?), and the A320neo family.I feel like the A220 order doesn’t make sense especially considering it requires a separate pilot group and Italy’s intercity rail systems are so robust. In fact, this may encourage ITA to focus more on long haul routes where you obviously have to fly.

    2. Apso Eyot Guest

      Can the A330neos do Italy to LAX or South America with a decent payload? Italy is largely a leisure and VFR market outside of Milan, and since their primary base is in Rome, I bet their planes will have to be quite economy-heavy (but of course not to LCC level).

  8. shoeguy Guest

    So, an enterprise that last turned a profit in 1997, sucked billions from the Italy's state coffers (and taxpayers), violated EU rules on state subsidies, has a network that generally doesn't make money (and an employee base that assures it never can make money) suddenly finds the means to buy shiny new planes. I guess that makes sense. They need more efficient frames and optimize their network. But, if you look at Swiss, for instance,...

    So, an enterprise that last turned a profit in 1997, sucked billions from the Italy's state coffers (and taxpayers), violated EU rules on state subsidies, has a network that generally doesn't make money (and an employee base that assures it never can make money) suddenly finds the means to buy shiny new planes. I guess that makes sense. They need more efficient frames and optimize their network. But, if you look at Swiss, for instance, it didn't buy new planes right away when it morphed out of Swissair. Same goes for Austrian and Brussels Airlines, neither of which make money. ITA isn't going to work in the long run. It will just end up being a "cleaner" entity ripe for a foreign airline to buy it and run it.

    1. Max Guest

      See above, ITA is essentially the incarnation of Lufthansa's wishlist. Brand new, downsized fleet with commonality to other Lufthansa Group airlines, low wages and all paid for by tax money.

  9. Marc Guest

    I give them one year before they either fold or ask for another bailout. Alitalia was insignificant in their domestic market as well as intra-European flying. They neither had the schedules nor recognition of the other European carriers.
    Ryanair and easyJet dominate the domestic market. They simply can’t compete unless they want to bleed money.
    FCO is such a seasonal market and Milan too fragmented between LIN and MXP to sustain a domestic...

    I give them one year before they either fold or ask for another bailout. Alitalia was insignificant in their domestic market as well as intra-European flying. They neither had the schedules nor recognition of the other European carriers.
    Ryanair and easyJet dominate the domestic market. They simply can’t compete unless they want to bleed money.
    FCO is such a seasonal market and Milan too fragmented between LIN and MXP to sustain a domestic hub.
    Who are the morons propping up this ridiculous airline? Oh yeah, the Italian taxpayers and they had no allegiance to AZ.

    This will be a comedy to watch.
    The sad part being the jobs which will disappear. It’s never entertaining nor joyous to be witness to the loss of someone’s livelihood, no matter the circumstances.

    1. Max Guest

      Lufthansa will happily buy them! Germany only agreed to the public subsidies because ITA is shaped according to Lufthansa's wishlist, France only agreed because of the big Airbus order.

    2. shoeguy Guest

      Alitalia's domestic market share eroded with the introduction of high speed trains and the presence of ULCCs in the market. Alitalia most certainly did have recognition in the intra-European market and some prominent trunk routes, they just didn't make any money.

      FCO is a problem on several levels. It doesn't work as a hub as there isn't enough business demand to feed what always was a skeletal long haul network and FCO is overwhelmingly...

      Alitalia's domestic market share eroded with the introduction of high speed trains and the presence of ULCCs in the market. Alitalia most certainly did have recognition in the intra-European market and some prominent trunk routes, they just didn't make any money.

      FCO is a problem on several levels. It doesn't work as a hub as there isn't enough business demand to feed what always was a skeletal long haul network and FCO is overwhelmingly a leisure destination. AZ at one point moved the hub to MXP and it was a disaster. For one, MXP is poorly linked to Milan, far, and inconvenient, and it is not set up structurally for a hub and spoke operation. AZ had a lock on LIN and still could not make money there. Don't cry for the jobs being lost at AZ. It is Italy's powerful trade unions and its employees that helped destroy the airline. While yes it is sad to see livelihoods destroyed, they really only have themselves to blame. The future of ITA is quite simple. It will become Lufthansa Italia again, stripped down to a small number of long haul routes (FCO-JFK/MIA/BOS/GRU/EZE) and (MXP-JFK/NRT), serve some major European capitals, and within Italy, limited to Sicily, Sardinia, and not much else.

  10. Donna Diamond

    I am guardedly optimistic about the new airline. Looking forward to their proposed summer launch of nonstops from LAX to FCO. Can’t wait for your review!

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Gio Guest

The CSeries CS300 aka A220-300 will be a great addition to ITA's fleet, it's a superb aircraft. Cannot wait to see it in ITA's blue livery!

0
Apso Eyot Guest

Can the A330neos do Italy to LAX or South America with a decent payload? Italy is largely a leisure and VFR market outside of Milan, and since their primary base is in Rome, I bet their planes will have to be quite economy-heavy (but of course not to LCC level).

0
Apso Eyot Guest

I agree that this ITA thing needs better fleet strategy. All they really need is the A350 (former 777 routes and highest prestige routes), the existing A330-200 fleet (maybe throw in some A330neos too?), and the A320neo family.I feel like the A220 order doesn’t make sense especially considering it requires a separate pilot group and Italy’s intercity rail systems are so robust. In fact, this may encourage ITA to focus more on long haul routes where you obviously have to fly.

0
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,788,713 Miles Traveled

27,627,500 Words Written

32,315 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT