MIAMI – Planning to change its business model, Ernest Airlines (EG) will relaunch operations as a regional carrier in December 2020. The Italian company has also announced that it will operate services with a fleet of 16 new ATR72-600 aircraft.

The Milan-based airline ceased operations in January 2020. A month before, the Italian Civil Aviation Authority imposed a suspension due to EG’s lack of required guarantees.

The airline started operations in 2016 as a low-cost carrier. Its network included over 20 destinations in 5 countries.
Photo: Julia Novitska from Wikimedia Commons.

A New Focus with State Support

With only four years in the market, the company seeks to change its strategy to gain back the trust of authorities in 2020.

Ernest Airlines President and CEO, Chady El Tannir said the new plan would have the support of the Italian government. Under the current approval, it will be financed by an investment fund.

The business proposal also includes the reincorporation of previous employees and the generation of new jobs. Thus, the government considers the project strategic for the economy.

In Janury 2020, EG stored its three leased Airbus A320 aircraft in various sites. The operation left the carrier with its single Airbus A319 jet to operate with.

All-ATR Operations for Ernest Regional Network

The relaunch comes with a new fleet and network, too.

In the past, EG had its main base Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) and operated only four Airbus aircraft. These included one A319-100 and four A320-200 airliners.

In contrast, the relaunch will allow the carrier to operate a fleet of 16 ATR72-600 aircraft. According to EG, these will be purchased over a four-year period.

In addition, EG will have operational bases at Rome Fiumicino (FCO), Bergamo (BGY), Parma (PMF), Ancona (AOI), and Bari Karol Wojtyła (BRI) airports.

With this approach, the company will have a domestic and international regional network that will put regional airports on the radar again. As a result, it expects to help these to develop business and domestic tourism.