According to an Italian language interview with Air Italy’s Chief Operating Officer, the airline is planning to partner with an American airline. The news comes at a time when the big three full-service American carriers are especially displeased with the airline.
The big three US airlines have recently been attacking Air Italy over a 49% ownership from Middle Eastern Qatar Airways. Indeed, this spat recently saw an Air Italy flight delayed for 35 hours. American Airlines refused to sell a part to Air Italy. However, it seems as though the carrier is set to partner with an unidentified airline in the United States.
What do we know
Now, my Italian doesn’t stretch beyond “ciao”. Indeed, when I went for dinner in Milan, my partner laughed when I said thank you in Spanish instead. However, thanks to the power of Google Translate, we have some idea what is going on behind the scenes.
Last week the Italian language Corriere Della Sera published an interview with the COO of Air Italy, Rossen Dimitrov. In it, the interviewer asked something along the lines of,
“Returning to the long-range market, it’s no secret that you will start a partnership with an American carrier…”.
The answer given by Mr Dimitrov roughly translates as,
“I confirm, but I can’t say with what company. We are carrying out the tests, but some things still need to be fixed, in fact we had planned to announce the agreement in May but we had to postpone it. There will also be alliances in another region that I cannot disclose.”
Bear in mind that this is taken from Google Translate, so it may not be word for word correct.
The move is an interesting one, as partnering with an American airline will no doubt further upset the big US three. It’s unknown which airline the Italian carrier is looking to partner with, however, it is unlikely to be American Airlines, United or Delta. This is as they continue to protest Qatar’s investment in the Italian carrier.
Additionally, Mr Dimitrov also appeared to indicate that another partner is being sought in a different part of the world. It is, again, unclear whether the airline is already in talks with or targeting a specific airline. They could also just be eying a partnership at this time.
We can’t wait to see which airline Air Italy is looking to partner with. Indeed, Simple Flying has contacted representatives of Air Italy for comment and are awaiting a response.
Which American airline do you think Air Italy might partner with? Let us know in the comments!