Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, hosted a press conference in Milan to launch Italy’s new airline identity. Meridiana, Italy’s long-established privately owned airline, announced its new identity and name: Air Italy.

Qatar Airways previously strengthened its commitment to Italy in 2017 with the acquisition of 49 percent of AQA Holding, the new parent company of Air Italy, while the previous sole shareholder Alisarda kept 51 percent.

During the press conference, Air Italy’s fresh and modern brand identity and the new airline business plan are unveiled, focusing on excellent passenger experience and the next generation of traveler, aimed at positioning itself as Italy’s leading airline.

Air Italy aims to have approximately 50 aircraft by 2022 and is already committed to receiving 20 of the brand new Boeing 737-Max aircraft type from April 2018, over the next three years. Air Italy will also receive five Airbus A330-200 aircraft this year from the Qatar Airways’ fleet, prior to these being further replaced by Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft, commencing May 2019.

Network destinations will also enjoy continued expansion, with new long-range routes from Milan to New York and Miami already announced recently, that will soon be followed by new short-haul routes connecting Milan and the airline’s long-range destinations to Rome , Naples, Palermo, Catania and Lamezia Terme.

Further plans also include strengthening the short-range network to improve connectivity and launching the first long-range destination from Rome Fiumicino in 2019. Air Italy aims to fly more than 50 year-round routes by 2022.