ITA Airways has entered into service its first Airbus A320neo. The aircraft joined the airline’s revenue roster on Monday, February 20, connecting the airline’s hub at Rome Fiumicino with Palermo.
The new plane, painted in ITA’s signature Savoia Blue livery, has been named after Francesco Moser, a professional cyclist famous in the 1970s and 1980s.
Initially, the airline will base the plane in Rome and deploy it on 11 domestic and three European destinations. However, as more airframes join the fleet in the summer, the airline will deploy them on all short and medium-haul routes spanning Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.
ITA Airways chose a quite dense configuration on its Airbus A320neo, featuring 180 seats. As a result, Business Class passengers do not have a dedicated cabin. Instead, they have more personal space as the middle seat of each row is left empty, and they enjoy an upgraded dining experience with hot meals and fine wines.
In a note released to the media, the company stressed the environmentally-friendly performance of the new type. “Bringing together technology and efficiency, the Airbus A320neo delivers 20% less fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per seat compared to previous generation aircraft,” said ITA Airways.
“With the new airplane, ITA Airways will further enrich its modern and environment-friendly fleet, which will feature 80% new generation aircraft by 2026, consequently downscaling of 1.3 million tons of CO2 emissions”.
The A320neo is the third new aircraft type ITA introduced in its fleet after it replaced Alitalia as Italy’s flag carrier in October 2021. In August 2022, it put into service the A350, followed in October by the A220.
The Italian carrier operates a fleet of 66 aircraft—six A350-900s, eight A330-200s, 30 A320ceo, one A320neo, 17 A319ceo, and four A220-300.
The plan is to grow the fleet to 109 airplanes by 2026.
This year, the airline expects to receive 39 new aircraft, with the debut of the A330-900s and the A321neos.
Today, the airline teased through its Instagram account the manufacturing process of its first Airbus A330neo. “Something new is coming, and by “something” we mean our new @airbus #A330NEO,” said the post.
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ITA will use these new airplanes partly to phase out older aircraft, like the A320/A319ceos and the A330-200s. According to the 2022-2023 winter schedule, the carrier flies to nine intercontinental, 22 intra-European, and 20 domestic destinations for a total of 51.
Services to San Francisco and Washington have been announced and will start before the end of 2023, following the arrival of the new A330-900s. In addition, the A321neos will open new destinations in the Middle East, with Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudia Arabia and Kuwait City in pole position.
According to the plans of the carrier, the single-aisle A321neos will be configured to guarantee the same level of comfort offered onboard widebody aircraft, with lie-flat seats in Business Class.