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ITA Airways Officially Joins IATA, Debuts New Livery As It Plans Qantas Agreement
ITA Airways — the Italian carrier taking over for the long ailing Alitalia — began operations on Oct. 15, on the same day becoming a member of IATA. Similar to joining SkyTeam, this announcement represents a handover with the now-bankrupt and former Italian national airline ITA has replaced.
The official IATA membership ceremony was held on Dec. 6 at ITA Airways’ Rome headquarters. Staff members from both IATA and ITA Airways were at the meeting, including IATA Regional Vice President Rafael Schvartzman and ITA Airways Managing Director Fabio Lazzerini.
Lazzerini also highlighted the support provided in recent months by IATA has been fundamental in facing the challenges of the air transport sector and has played a crucial role in the initial phases of the airline.
The First Aircraft in the New Livery
ITA Airways has started operations with 52 aircraft — 7 wide-bodies, 45 narrow-body — and aims to grow to 78 in 2022, with the phasing in of the latest-generation aircraft. A further 27 aircraft will be added by 2025, and the total fleet will therefore consist of 105 aircraft.
The first aircraft with the new blue livery will be an Airbus A320 and will be named after Italian footballer Paolo Rossi, world champion and Ballon d’Or winner in 1982, who died in 2020. As stated in the press release of today, “The new livery of the Italian flag carrier is as a symbol of unity and pride for Italy and representative of the Italian national team in all sports.”
The choice of the champion Paolo Rossi is therefore part of ITA Airways’ strategy of naming its new aircraft after the greatest Italian sportsmen who have always made Italy famous throughout the world.
The new-painted Airbus A320 is expected to enter the fleet in a few weeks, probably in mid-January 2022. The airline also said it plans to invite customers, via social media, to choose the names of the champions after whom the next aircraft with the new livery will be named.
The First Nonstop Flight from Italy to Australia
Last week, Qantas, followed by Aeroporti di Roma — the company that manages the Roman airports — announced that the Australian national airline will start a direct connection between Italy and Australia from June 23, 2022. There will be three weekly flights between Rome and Sydney with a stopover in Perth to meet summer demand but will end in October 2022.
The agreement, in the works by Qantas since 2018, provides for an interline agreement between the two airlines and currently represents the only direct flight between Australia and Italy, intended to provide more opportunities for connection for the Italian and Australian public, alike. Flights will be operated by the airline’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
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