Alitalia Replacement ITA Eyes Airbus A220 And More With All-Airbus MOU

Italia Trasporto Aero (ITA) has today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus to acquire 28 new planes. The new national carrier of Italy is planning to take on 10 A330neos, seven A220s, and 11 A320neos with this move.

Alitalia Airbus A330-202 EI-EJK (3)
The first of the new Airbus aircraft will be delivered by the end of next year. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Gaining momentum

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) just recently gave ITA the go-ahead to operate commercial services to the United States. The reborn Italian carrier is expected to commence operations in the middle of next month, following many twists in turns in the wider Alitalia saga.

The new outfit received its first aircraft, an A330-200, last month. Now, the airline will be expecting many more to join over the next few years following discussions with Airbus. The sole current fleet member came from Alitalia, and more are expected to arrive from the old carrier, but there is also a wave of new planes on the cards.

“ITA has done a thorough clean sheet aircraft evaluation and has chosen Airbus across all segments. This is very gratifying and a testimony of the great value of the Airbus product range. It sets a benchmark in driving the decarbonization and efficiency agenda,” shared Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International.

“From the start, we have been working closely with ITA, listening carefully to their requirements. Today we are proud and grateful to be alongside ITA in building its future together. Grazie Mille!”

Airbus A320neo
Within four years, new generation planes will make up over two-thirds of ITA’s fleet. Photo: Airbus

Additional units

The Airbus aircraft additions don’t stop with the MoU. ITA has also concluded an agreement with Air Lease Corporation (ALC) to lease another 31 planes. The incoming leased fleet will consist of A350-900s, along with short and medium-haul jets.

ALC shared its satisfaction with the deal, noting the efficiency benefits of the A220 and A320neo family aircraft. Both series of aircraft are proving to be increasingly popular as airlines across the globe transition to be more streamlined. Every penny counts and the cost benefits will undoubtedly match well with the environmental benefits to bring considerable savings for ITA and its services.

Alitalia A320
Altogether, the airline will lease 56 new Airbus aircraft over the course of its business plan, and it is determined to half the amount of lessors it conducts business with amid its fresh approach. Photo: Getty Images

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A new era

Interestingly, the previous expectation was that the revised strategy of the national carrier was to focus on long-haul and cargo services. However, with the pending influx of many short and medium-haul jets, it looks like there will still be a strong concentration on regional and continental flights. Perhaps CityLiner will prioritize the shorter routes. Regardless, the injection of A330s and A350s means that long distances will remain a major priority for the airline.

It’s a fresh start for ITA, and Airbus recognizes this. The airline will be keen on keeping up to date with the industry. For instance, it shares that it will utilize sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) on its Airbus fleet. If the carrier can keep on top of operations and sustain a long-term, cost-effective strategy, prospects may finally be bright again for Italy’s national carrier.

What are your thoughts about ITA’s Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus for new aircraft? What do you make of the ambitions of the airline? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

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