Air Italy is reportedly to be merged into Meridiana Fly from 15-Feb-2013, according to reports by Avio Italia, AGI, and TTG Italia. As previously reported by CAPA, both airlines’ Air Operator’s Certificates (AOC) were revoked by the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) and issued temporary AOCs which will expire in 12 months. The AOC change is due to the airlines’ financial difficulties. Meridiana Fly CEO Giuseppe Gentile is reportedly to be replaced by Roberto Scaramella following a proposal by Meridiana Fly founder and minority shareholder Aga Khan. The existing Meridiana Fly investors will acquire the 38.71% stake in Meridiana Fly and Air Italy currently owned by Air Italy Holding.
Air Italy to be merged into Meridiana Fly from 15-Feb-2013: reports
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Since Etihad's Dec-2014 investment in a 49% stake in Alitalia the Italian airline has enjoyed much positive change. It has worked to move its brand and product more upmarket to differentiate itself from fierce LCC competition in Italy, where Ryanair is the biggest airline by seats.
Alitalia's long haul offering has benefited from its partnership with Etihad. This has mainly been due to codeshare access to a much wider range of destinations in the Middle East and Asia Pacific. However, this summer's launch of a Rome-Beijing service indicates growing self-confidence too. Alitalia has also shown renewed confidence by growing its small niche to Latin America, the main region where it takes the lead over Etihad. On short/medium haul the LCCs still provide a strong challenge, although Alitalia's European offering has been fortified by closer commercial ties with other Etihad investments (in particular airberlin).
However, Alitalia continues to be loss-making (to the tune of EUR199 million in 2015). This is a hard continuing habit to kick, even if the airline still insists that it will break the habit in 2017. The rest of the industry is collectively experiencing record profitability in 2016; an airline that cannot be profitable in such conditions still has much work to do.