Little by little, the successor to Alitalia, referred to as ITA, is taking form. Set to officially launch this Friday, October 15th, one of the airline’s jets has been spotted with a new special livery. Parked in Shannon, Ireland, this first aircraft of the Italian airline, an Airbus A320, will have the words “Born in 2021” and “Operated by ITA” painted onto the fuselage.
Born in 2021
“Born in 2021” – a fitting statement for Italy’s new airline, will go up on one of the airline’s first operational planes for its October 15th launch. That new airline is, of course, referred to as ITA (Italia Transport Aereo).
The first plane for ITA EI-EIB… pic.twitter.com/KRRvfw6M46
— Andy Monks 🛫🛬 (@AndythePandy_) October 10, 2021
According to World Airline News, the new Italian carrier has been slowly and steadily pushing out details about its operations recently, including the fact that it will have its new website revealed on Friday. Additionally, the airline’s CEO, Fabio Lazzerini, says that there will be a video but, but without a brand.
In Italian, Italia Vola reported Lazzerini as saying:
“We still don’t know, what we will call ourselves and you will know it next Friday…the brand is historical and well-known, it has its pros and cons, with a glorious history and some stumbling blocks”.
The aircraft under the livery
Photos taken by some keen spotters in Shannon show that the aircraft with the new livery is an Airbus A320-200. Registered as EI-EIB, the aircraft was previously flown by Alitalia, delivered to the carrier in July 2010. The aircraft is configured with 171 standard economy seats. Italia Vola also noted that the aircraft was prepared by IAC – international Aerospace Coatings at its Shannon facilities.
Data from Planespotters.net shows that this particular jet was involved in an incident in September of 2013 when its right-side landing gear did not extend on landing in Rome. In a report on the incident, the Aviation Safety Network wrote that the crew carried out a missed approach procedure. A g-force maneuver was carried out as well as multiple unsuccessful attempts to cycle the landing gear.
Ultimately, the crew requested an emergency landing at Rome-Fiumicino Airport, touching down with the right landing gear only partially extended. The report concludes by saying that the subsequent evacuation of the jet was uneventful and that there were no injuries.
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Plans coming together
We’ve reported on a few significant developments with this new airline in recent weeks. The airline announced at the end of September that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus to acquire 28 new planes. The firm will acquire 10 A330neos, seven A220s, and 11 A320neos with this move. Additionally, the carrier had 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.
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) also recently gave ITA the go-ahead to operate commercial services to the United States.