Italian airline ITA to order 59 new Airbus aircraft

ITA is set to replace existing Italian flag-carrier Alitalia. Photo: © Phillip Rohmberger / IFN

The successor to the ailing Italian flag-Carrier Alitalia, ITA, has signed agreements with Airbus and leasing company Air Lease Corporation (ALC) for 59 aircraft.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus covers seven Airbus A220, eleven Airbus A320neo and ten Airbus A330neo family aircraft, the exact variants have not yet been disclosed. In addition to the 28 new aircraft to be purchased from Airbus, ITA signed an agreement to lease a further 31 ‘new generation’ Airbus jets from Air Lease Corporation (ALC). Delivery of the first new planes is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.

ITA, officially named Italia Transporto Aereo, was founded in late-2020 to accommodate frequent government subsidies to Alitalia, which the European Union has found to be illegal. While ITA promises to be a fresh start for Italian aviation, it will initially take over most of Alitalia’s current assets when it is due to start flying on October 15, 2021. The airline says it plans to take off with 52 aircraft, and later expand its fleet to 105 aircraft by 2025.

An auction for the Alitalia name was also announced by the Italian government with restrictions for potential buyers set so that theoretically only ITA, which is also 100% government-owned, can bid for it.