Qatar Airways has further strengthened its commitment to Italy with the acquisition of a 49
per cent of AQA Holding, the new parent company of Meridiana fly (Meridiana), while the previous sole
shareholder Alisarda has kept 51 per cent.
Qatar Airways currently flies from Doha to Rome, Venice, Pisa and Milan a total of 42 times per week and
this partnership will further strengthen the airline’s ties to Italy, while promoting job creation within the
country, and from where it connects passengers to more than 150 destinations around the world.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are delighted to
formalise this important partnership, which will help increase Meridiana’s competitiveness in the European
market. We look forward to working together to reinforce its position to provide even more connectivity to
Italy and other European destinations, as well as those in the US and beyond.”
Under the terms of the Contribution and Shareholders’ Agreement signed in July 2016, Alisarda maintains
the right to appoint the majority of the Board members.
Following the closing, the Shareholders’ meetings of AQA Holding and Meridiana appointed today the new
Board of directors. Alisarda’s Chairman Marco Rigotti has been appointed Chairman of AQA Holding while
Francesco Violante is the new Chairman of Meridiana. Mr. Violante has previously been the CEO of SITA
until end of June 2016, leaving in at the end October after a very successful 13 years.
In due course, the new Plan for Meridiana will be announced and the new CEO will be appointed. In the
meanwhile Mr. Rigotti will retain the executive powers as deputy chairman.
The other members of the Boards are, for AQA Holding, Sultan Ali Allana, Corinne Fournot, Daniel Ho and
Giles Agutter, and, for Meridiana, Corinne Fournot, Daniel Ho and Giles Agutter.
“I’m really grateful to Minister Delrio for his determined and tireless support, encouragement and strong
belief in the project,” said Mr. Marco Rigotti, Chairman of Alisarda and AQA Holding. “We are thrilled to
begin this partnership project with the world’s best airline. We are now working on an ambitious business
plan, with the aim to offer to the passengers’ new destinations and the highest level of satisfaction. I warmly
welcome Francesco and I’m delighted that he accepted to be part of this challenging and exciting venture”.
Meridiana is the second largest Italian carrier, with an extensive network, which connects the main Italian
airports with Sardinia and provides connectivity with hubs in Europe as well as in the U.S. and Africa.
Meridiana’s fleet consists of Boeing 737s, 767s and MD-82s.