LONDON – Air Italy has announced new flights from its new hub in Milan-Malpensa (MXP), and Moscow-Domodedovo (DME), as well as increased flights to Costa Smeralda Airport (OLB) in Olbia. These flights have been added due to increased passenger interest at the MITT festival in Moscow.

Meridiana, now transformed into the new Italian carrier, Air Italy, was to operate weekly flights between Domodedovo and Costa Smeralda from June 2 until the end of September. But now, Air Italy will be operating these flights due to the takeover and rebrand.

READ MORE: Ciao Meridiana, Welcome Air Italy: Unveiling The New Qatar Airways Investment In Italy (+Media)

Air Italy will be the only carrier to connect Milan and Moscow together. The carrier has also announced that this route will be operated under a codesharing agreement with S7 Airlines in Russia, a member of the Oneworld alliance.

According to Air Italy, they will also offer convenient connections to Italy from St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Rostov, Nizhyn, Novgorod, Omsk, Samara and Chelyabinsk through this codesharing agreement with the Russian carrier.

The airline will be offering flights from 3031 rubles one way per person to Milan and 6,187 rubles one way to Olbia. Because of these flight expansions to Moscow and Olbia, seats will be almost doubled from 43,000 seats on offer in 2017 to 78,000 seats this year from the four weekly flights being increased to daily frequencies.

Brand New Airline

Picture by Air Italy

Air Italy was founded in February 2018 and commenced operations at the start of this month. Qatar Airways currently has a 49% stake in the carrier with AQA Holdings having the other 51%. Olbia is listed as a focus city for the airline due to previous significant operations from Meridiana.

The official new branding of the carrier took place on March 1st when the airline commenced operations. In terms of codesharing agreements already, Air Italy has them set up with the likes of Air Malta, Air Moldova, Blue Air, Blue Panorama Airlines, British Airways, Iberia & Qatar Airways as well as S7 Airlines.

READ MORE: S7 Airlines Continues Expansion: New Flights from St. Petersburg to Croatia

The first Air Italy flight departed from Malpensa at 2 am local time and flew the scheduled service of IG3254 to Abeid Amani Karume Airport in Zanzibar. IG1111, the first domestic flight also commenced on March 1st between Olbia to Rome Fiumicino.

The carrier is to receive five Airbus A330-200 aircraft in April for a short-term lease while they wait for the 787-8 aircraft that they have on order, being at around 30 units.

The carrier has three Boeing 767-300ERs, which are to be phased out over the next year, to make the way for the 20 Boeing 737MAX8’s that they have on the way which will also replace the current 737-700 and -800 variants they have in the fleet, giving the carrier a fresh new fleet going into 2019.

The carrier currently operates to 34 destinations and aims to increase that number to 50 looking into the next couple of years of operations.