Air Italy has unveiled its first Boeing 737 MAX and its striking new livery at the Boeing Everett Delivery Centre in Seattle, in front of a crowd of VIP dignitaries and guests, including prince Rahim Aga Khan, alongside international media.
The aircraft, the first of approximately 50 new aircraft to be added to the Air Italy fleet by 2022, is the first of 20 brand new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that will join the airline over the next three years.
Qatar Airways previously strengthened its commitment to Italy in 2017 with the acquisition of 49 per cent of AQA Holding, the new parent company of Air Italy, while the previous sole shareholder Alisarda kept 51 per cent.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, commented: “I am delighted to be at the Boeing Everett Delivery Centre today in Seattle to mark yet another landmark event, the delivery of Air Italy’s first new Boeing 737 Max aircraft in striking new livery, first presented in Milan in February this year.
“To see the aircraft here for the first time, it truly brings to life the next exciting chapter for Italy’s future carrier of choice, providing the people of Italy with the sophisticated travel experience that they deserve.”
The new Boeing 737 Max aircraft features modern and spacious cabins, superior operating economics and a greater fuel efficiency.
The aircraft will also feature business class cabins and will replace Air Italy’s existing Boeing 737NGs.
Chairman of Alisarda, Marco Rigotti, said: “This first Boeing B737 Max will offer our customers a journey in true Italian style.
“While seated in this comfortable and stylish aircraft, flying from Milan onwards to our domestic network of popular destinations such as Taormina in Sicily, the Emerald Coast in Sardinia, Rome, Sorrento and Capri or the pristine landscape in Calabria, we want our passengers to sense the beauty of Italy and warm welcome they will receive upon landing.”
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.
Network destinations will also enjoy continued expansion, with new long-range routes from Milan to New York, Miami, Bangkok and Mumbai already announced.
Air Italy this month also inaugurated short-haul routes connecting Milan to Rome, Naples, Palermo and Olbia.
Additional routes from Milan to the Sicilian east coast city of Catania and Lamezia Terme in Calabria will commence on July 1st and September 1st respectively.
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.
Chairman of Air Italy, Francesco Violante, commented: “I would like to extend my thanks to Boeing and all of those involved in this, the production of our very first Boeing 737 Max in the Air Italy livery.
“Since we first announced the striking new design at a press conference in Milan in February this year, there has been much anticipation for this moment.
“We look forward to taking to the skies and bringing this aircraft to Italy for the first time.”
Take a look at a series of images from the delivery ceremony here.