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Meridiana, legally Meridiana fly S.p.A. and formerly operating as Meridiana fly, is a privately owned Italian airline headquartered in Olbia with its main base at Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport.
The airline operates scheduled and charter flights to domestic, European and intercontinental destinations from several Italian bases.
Meridian flies to many destinations including Zanzibar, Athens, Bari, Tel Aviv, Brussels, Cagliari, Catania, Paris, Chisinau, Moscow, Geneva, Bologna, Heraklion, Ibiza, New York, Kos, La Romana, London, Dakar, Madrid, Milan, Male, Valencia, Mykonos, Naples, Verona, Turin, Trieste, Rhodes, Santorini, Saint Petesburg, Palmero, Nice and others.
Some of its operations are carried out by its subsidiary Air Italy under the Meridiana brand.
Meridiana has an overall fleet of 20 aircraft consisting of McDonnell Douglas MD82, Boeing 737-800, Boeing 737-300 and Boeing 767-300.
Frequent Flyer Program
Meridiana operates a frequent flyers program called Meridiana Club to reward regular travellers.
Meridiana Club offers different levels of membership in order to reward its regular passengers. No more queues at the check-in counters with the Fly Pass Silver you have access to the special check-in counters.
Meridiana operates the frequent flyer program called Meridiana Club, in partnership with Avios. Avios is the reward currency of frequent flyer programs run by Iberia, British Airways and Meridiana. Avios can be collected as everyday purchases with the help of a card similar to a credit card.
Avios are awarded from the moment the flight is booked, and can be summed to those earned with flights from Iberia and British Airways in connection flights or flights completely booked with them. They can be exchanged for reward flights with any of the airlines that make this alliance.
In fact Meridiana offers, only to passengers holding the Fly Pass Gold and Fly Pass Silver, at all the major Italian airports, special check-in desks, Fly Pass counters, where they can collect their boarding card thus avoiding queues and lengthy waiting times.
A Club of services for those wishing to fly Vip with Meridiana and to enjoy all those opportunities that transform their trips into a comfortable and convenient experience.
Dedicated phone number, earlier flight service, reserved check-in desks, allocation of on board seating, Vip Lounge, reserved access to the security checks at the main Italian airports, priority baggage collection. In addition to all the opportunities offered by partners of the Club are the main benefits that Meridiana offers its most demanding customers through the Club Fly-Pass Gold.
In 2011, Merdiana Fly completely acquired the properties of Air Italy, a chartered Italian carrier which definitely joined the Group and now operates connections on behalf of Meridiana. Meridiana has codeshare agreements with Air Malta, Iberia and S7 Airlines.
30th October 2017
Meridiana to conclude scheduled MD-80 flights on 31 October
Meridiana is to operate its final scheduled Being MD-80 flight at the end of the month.
The Italian carrier says the jet will be used to operate a domestic service between Rome Fiumicino and Sardinian city Olbia on 31 October before exiting scheduled operations – though it will remain available for "single specific rotations" until spring 2018, when replacement of MD-80s with Boeing 737 is completed.
Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that Merdiana has four MD-80s – three MD-82s and one MD-83 – and eight 737NGs in a fleet that also includes four 767s.
4th October 2017
Meridiana adds limited-time Egypt service in W17
Italian carrier Meridiana during Christmas and New Year period plans to offer additional route to Egypt, including Marsa Alam and Sharm el Sheikh. Operated by Air Italy Boeing 737-800 aircraft, planned service as follow.
Naples – Marsa Alam 21DEC17 – 04JAN18 1 weekly (Day 4)
Naples – Sharm el Sheikh 26DEC17 – 08JAN18 1 weekly (Day 2)
Rome – Marsa Alam 22DEC17 – 05JAN18 1 weekly (Day 5)
29th September 2017
Qatar Airways expands airline investments with Italy's Meridiana
Qatar Airways said on Thursday it had acquired a 49 percent stake in AQA Holding, the new parent company of Italy’s Meridiana, adding to its growing portfolio of investments in foreign airlines.
Previous sole owner Alisarda retains 51 percent, the major Middle East airline said in a statement.
Loss-making, Sardinia-based Meridiana is Italy’s second largest carrier behind Alitalia which is partly owned by Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways. Alitalia filed for administration earlier this year.
The value of the Meridiana acquisition was not given, and the deal was finalised after protracted negotiations that formally started more than a year ago.
“We are delighted to formalize this important partnership, which will help increase Meridiana’s competitiveness in the European market,” Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker said.
Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said the deal represented a turnaround for Meridiana and would help Italy’s tourism industry, especially in the poorer south of the country.
Transport Minister Graziano Delrio said it would ensure job security for Meridiana workers, and created the potential for future job growth.
Alisarda Chairman Marco Rigotti has been appointed chairman of AQA Holding, and Francesco Violante has been appointed as chairman of Meridiana.
A new strategy and chief executive for Meridiana would be announced in “due course,” but al-Baker said Qatar Airways would work with Meridiana to improve its connectivity to Italy, other European destinations, and to the United States.
Al-Baker has said Meridiana would use Boeing 737 MAXs ordered by Qatar Airways, with 20 to be delivered to the Italian airline from the second quarter of 2018.
Meridiana, which offers flights to and from Sardinia and other destinations in Italy, was until now fully owned by the Aga Khan, a businessman and spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims.
Qatar Airways bought the Meridiana stake nearly four months into a Gulf political crisis that has seen some Arab states cut ties with Qatar, and the airline banned from flying to some Middle East cities.
Qatar Airways also owns minority stakes in British Airways parent International Airlines Group (IAG) and South America’s LATAM Airlines.
Earlier this year, Qatar Airways tried to add American Airlines to its portfolio of minority stakes but later backed away after being rebuked by American’s management. It has also expressed interest in Royal Air Maroc
Qatar Airways has said it buys stakes in airlines that it believes are good investments, and lets them operate as businesses distinct from the Gulf carrier.
11th September 2017
Italian Transport Minister working to secure Meridiana/Qatar Airways partnership
Italy's Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation Graziano Delrio, via his personal Facebook account, confirmed (06-Sep-2017) a meeting with Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker. Mr Delrio stated the meeting focused on "guarantees on the conclusion of the agreement with Meridiana and confirmation of the ambitious investment plan envisaged". Mr Delrio said Mr Al Baker has "great interest in developing links to and from Italy through partnership with Meridiana".
3rd July 2017
Meridiana / Qatar Airways deal thrown off by Gulf Crises
Italy's Minister of Transport, Graziano del Rio, has confirmed the Qatar diplomatic crisis has resulted in delays in the signing of a 49/51 joint-venture between Qatar Airways and Meridiana fly. The Qatari carrier had until June 30 to contribute EUR39.2 million (USD41.5 million) to Meridiana's new holding company, Aqa Holding, as part of the deal. Despite the mid-year deadline, the deal was expected to be finalized by May. At last month's 2017 Paris Air Show, al-Baker told reporters that Qatar Airways would place an unspecified number of B737 MAX 8s with Meridiana sourced from its LOI with Boeing for sixty.
7th June 2017
Meridiana fly has wet-leased a Fokker 100 from Croatian ACMI/charter specialist Trade Air
According to schedule data, as of June 1, 9A-BTD (msn 11407) has been based out of Milan Linate for use in serving each of Munich, Ibiza, Marseilles, Lampedusa, Santorini, and Catania. The contract will run for one month initially extendable for another three if need be.
The Sardinian carrier has also wet-leased an A319-100 from Cyprus's Cobalt for use in running regular flights from its Cagliari hub to the Italian mainland. That contract runs from June 1 to October 1. A third aircraft wet-leased from Air Mediterranean B737-400 SX-MAH (msn 24643) is based in Olbia.
22nd March 2017
Merdiana Airlines announces new route from Milan Malpensa to Moscow (return)! New route has already taken place.
Upcoming flights are scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on a weekly basis from May 7th 2017. Flights will depart at 12:10pm and return from Milan Malpensa at 06:55, with a flight duration of 3 hours and 30 minutes. The route will be operated by a boeing 727-800 with a dual configuration of 168 seats in econoy and 14 in Electa (Merdiana's Business Class). Milan has become the 11th Italian destination in the route network of Domodedovo Moscow Airport.
8th March 2017
Merdiana Airlines in Summer 2017 seasons and Jet Airways, India’s international airlines, have entered a codeshare partnership in order to help significantly enhance connectivity between India and the Asia-Pacific region. It will also enhance connectivity for Jet Airways passengers from Mumbai and Delhi via Hong Kong to multiple destination in the Asia pacific region including to first time codeshare destinations, such as. Okinawa in Japan.
1st December 2016
Hong Kong airlines plans to expand its network into Norther America with the launch of non-stop flights between Hong Kong and Vancouver form June 2017. The service will commence from 30th June 2017, using a 283-seat Airbus A330-200 but likely to be switched to the A350-900 once the first of its aircraft are delivered towards the end of next year
Starting in December 2, 2016, Meridiana will begin a direct service from Milan to Miami on a twice a week frequency. The decision was made after analysing the huge potential that Miami International Airport has. Yearly, Miami International serves 275,000 flights to and from Italy, including a direct service to Milan operated by American Airlines and to Rome operated by Alitalia. Meridiana expects to help fill the demand of direct flights between Miami and Italy. The flight will be operated in a Boeing 767 aircraft, which seats up to 316 passengers. The demand of flights to Miami is not isolated to Italy, all across Europe carriers are starting to add new direct flights to Miami International from various cities like Cologne, Copenhagen, Oslo and Amsterdam.
The entire Meridiana Fleet is now run by Boeing, after retiring the last of the Airbus aircrafts in late 2014. At the moment the carrier has multiple agreements with airlines around the world, the codeshare agreements that are currently active are with Air Berlin, Air Malta, Air Moldova, Blue Air, Blue Panorama, Iberia, S7 Airlines, and Qatar Airways. More agreements are expected especially with carriers from the East as in 2016 Qatar Airways bought 49% of the outstanding shares of Meridiana and intends to make the italian carrier a key asset for their operations in Europe.
The fleet as of 2016 consists of the following aircrafts: Boeings 737-300, 737-700, 737-800, 767-200, 767-300 and McDonnell Douglas MD - 82 and 83. There are seven MD - 82 and 5 737-800s, making them the most used aircrafts of the organisation. In March 2017, Meridiana announced its new international connection between the airport Milano Malpensa and to Domodoedovo, which will be inaugurated Wednesday 22nd March. The new flight from the airport operated by Sea , will be available every Monday , Wednesday and Friday , while from May 7 will also add an operating frequency the Sunday , for a total of four weekly flights. The aircraft in service on this line is a Boeing 737-800 with 168 seats in economy and 14 in Electa Club, the business class of Meridiana. Taking off from Malpensa is scheduled at 6:55, while in Moscow it starts at 12:10, the flight lasted about three hours and thirty. In February 2017, Meridiana Fly announced it is set to begin, Lagos, Accra routes. Meridiana Fly, Italy’s fastest growing airline has concluded plans to begin air services into the Nigerian and aviation market. The carrier has also reaffirmed its commitment to the Nigerian and Ghanaian markets by confirming both routes in their summer schedule for 2017. Supported by Ghana’s first affiliated global aviation advisory firm -Dre Aviation and Dana Air, Meridiana Fly entered into the West African market with an iconic Boeing 767-300 series aircraft, and a on-time performance rate of 99.5 percent.
In March 2017, it was announced that the European Commission had given the proposed tie-up between Qatar Airways and Meridiana fly the go-ahead. Under the terms of the agreement, Qatar Airways will control 49% of a newly formed holding company in which Alisarda, Meridiana's parent firm, will have a 51% stake. It will contribute the entire outstanding share capital of Meridiana fly S.p.A. which owns Air Italy Holding S.r.l. and Air Italy, Wokita s.r.l., and Meridiana Maintenance S.p.A. It is recalled that Alisarda is itself owned by the Aga Khan Foundation.
In April 2017, Meridiana Fly announced it was planning to operate up to 25 new aircraft by 2021 through Project Sun. Project Sun comes on the back of the European Commission's decision last month to greenlight the proposed tie-up between Qatar Airways and Meridiana fly. Under the partnership, Qatar Airways will control 49% of a newly formed holding company with the Aga Khan Foundation-owned Alisarda, controlling the remaining 51%. The report states the Aga Khan Foundation has already contributed EUR40.75 million euro of the NewCo's share capital with Qatar Airways having until June 30 to contribute its share. In terms of operations, Project Sun outlines the carrier's strategy for the years 2018 through to 2020. In terms of fleet, Meridiana will replace its remaining three MD-82s and one MD-83 with more B737-800s. As it stands, the McDonnell Douglas jets are scheduled to be retired in October of this year. In total, by 2021, Meridiana will operate eighteen B737-800s and seven B767-300. A total of around EUR3 billion will be spent in the fleet renewal and expansion exercise.
In April 2017, Meridiana announced it plans to operate limited-time service to Cartagena in Colombia, on board Air Italy Boeing 767 aircraft. On 30APR17, the flight will operate as Milan Malpensa – Cartagena – La Romana – Milan Malpensa, while service on 06MAY17 operates in opposite direction. In April 2017, Meridiana announced it was close to signing a deal being signed with Qatar Airways. The Italian airline is headquartered in Olbia and has bases across Milan, Naples, Rome and Verona.