MIAMI – Brazil’s Itapemirim (ITA) has finally selected the Airbus A320 aircraft to launch its domestic airline, ITA Transportes Aereos, in 2021.

According to ITA Transportes Aereos CEO Tiago Senna, the new air operator has plans to be a single aircraft type fleet. Thus, Senna already signed a letter of intent with Airbus lessors to secure an initial batch of ten A320 jets.

In 2022, the company expects to expand its fleet to 50 A320 aircraft. However, there are no confirmed deals between Itapemirim and Airbus on additional jets as of yet.

Despite the Itapemirim company undergoing a judicial reorganization, the airline’s business is backed by US$500m from Abu Dhabi investors.

Airbus A320-200 with original paint. Photo: Laurent Errera.

The Start of ITA Transportes Aereos

In May, Itapemirim company CEO Rodrigo Otaviano Vilaça first unveiled a Bombardier Q400 (DHC-8-400) model with the company colors. Then, in July, Otaviano Vilaça presented a yellow Airbus A220.

At the time, the intention was to find ten aircraft between a 100 and 140-seat configuration. The possibilities were the Airbus A319, the Boeing B737-700, and the Embraer ERJ/ERJ 195, according to ITA Transportes Aereos’ CEO.

In the end, the selected option was sure enough the Airbus A320. The type was selected due to technical reasons, said Senna.

The initial plan from the regional carrier is to paint the jets yellow and accommodate them in three major hubs. These are São Paulo’s Guarulhos (GRU), Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão (GIG), and Brasilia (BSB) airports.

Additionally, ITA Transportes Aereos expects to begin hiring 600 employees, of whom 170 will be Pilots and 300 Flight Attendants.

Itapemirim company logo. Photo: Itapemirim.

ITA Transportes Aereos Services

Regarding ITA’s services offer, Senna said it will not launch Business or First Class travel options as these did not work in the past. Instead, the airline will offer a Comfort class with a premium service for the aforementioned customer segments.

The airline’s CEO also said that the ITA would not approach the business from a price standpoint but from a quality one instead. Therefore, ITA Transportes Aereos will enter the market more as a strategic ally than as a competitor.

While Avianca (AV) and LATAM (LA) have left many unattended routes, Senna stated that ITA does not expect to be a giant airline.

Having said that, ITA Transportes Aereos does have plans to be more than a regional carrier under the support from the Itapemirim company brand. As such, it will serve 2.700 Brazilian municipalities comprising its domestic connections and has a strong placement in the North and Northeast.

Featured image: Airbus A220 model painted with Itapemirim brand livery. Photo: Rodrigo Otaviano Vilaça.