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ITA Airways Takes Delivery Of First Airbus A220-300

The Italian flag carrier has taken delivery of its first pair of brand-new Airbus A220-300 planes

by Enrique Perrella

October 11, 2022

Photo: Courtesy of ITA Airways

The new Italian flag carrier, ITA Airways, has taken delivery of its first two Canadian-manufactured Airbus A220-300 aircraft.

The new planes will enter service on Sunday, linking the airline’s main hub in Rome-Fiumicino with Genova, Naples, Zurich, and Geneve. Later, on October 25, the new jets will be deployed to Milan-Linate, and on October 30, to Munich.

The first aircraft features the same ‘Born to be Sustainable’ stickers that one of its Airbus A350-900 aircraft is currently wearing. The airline’s current sustainability campaign aims to have 80% of its planes compliant with CO2 emissions by 2026, operating one of the youngest fleets in Europe.

With the addition of the A220, ITA Airways will improve its fuel burn and CO2 emissions by 25% per seat compared to its current A320 fleet. In addition, the A220-300 operates with a noise footprint 50% lower than the airline’s oldest planes.

In December 2021, ITA Airways placed an order with Airbus for 28 aircraft. Since then, it took delivery of six Airbus A350-900s, all of which have been deployed on the airline’s long-haul routes to Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, New York, and Miami. By 2026, the airline plans to have 108 planes, including 22 brand-new Airbus A320neo, nine A321neo LR, 17 A330-900neo, and eight A350-900, dropping its average age from 13.6 to under five in only three years.

As the airline continues to welcome new planes to its fleet, the Italian government has extended the deadline for a consortium to formally bid to acquire a majority stake in the new Italian carrier. Certares, Air France-KLM, and Delta Air Lines are expected to take part in a €350 million investment for 50% of ITA Airways, which could then increase to €600 million, as noted by Reuters.

The airline will likely remain in the SkyTeam Alliance with commercial partners like Delta and Air France-KLM. As noted by the airline’s CEO Andrea Lazzerini during the Farnborough Air Show in July, ITA Airways has until the end of the year to decide whether to stay in the Amsterdam-based airline alliance or choose a different path.

In the meantime, ITA Airways will continue operating with its fleet of 68 aircraft, comprised of 18 A319, 28 A320, seven A330-200, and six A350-900s. The first A330neo and additional A220s should arrive in Rome before the end of the year.