Italian start up, Air Italy will replace their planned order of Boeing 787s with a larger Airbus A330 fleet. This will be due to the delays in the Boeing 787 delivery, meaning that Air Italy can’t expand as quickly as they’d like.
During a conversation with aviation analyst, Alex Macheras, (whose writings regarding Air Italy can be viewed here here) the Air Italy COO said that:
“Because of the delay in Boeing 787 Dreamliner deliveries, we have decided to expand the fleet with Airbus A330s instead. We will add more A330s this year, and next year too”
Whilst the statement doesn’t flat out reject that the delivery of the Boeing 787 will take place, it does show that Air Italy are clearly frustrated with the progress of their order, which has meant that Air Italy have not been able to expand at a pace that they would have liked… We will see if Air Italy ever get a 787, but at this point it seems unlikely.
The 787 programme is very clogged, with hundreds of orders on the books before the order gets anywhere near Air Italy’s. It is easy to see why Air Italy need the new A330s to provide expansion choice, because they can be accessed easily from Qatar Airlines, who are a supporter of Air Italy… Qatar are slowly phasing out their A330 fleet, so with the option of available planes, which aren’t too old, it seems like a no brainer for Air Italy to take advantage of the situation.
Given that Air Italy are moving towards a fleet of Airbus long haul planes, it isn’t hard to see them moving towards an Airbus fleet of short haul planes. Their main fleet of 737MAX jets have been grounded for a while now, which has led to scheduling issues… Air Italy could switch to an Airbus model to avoid future crisis, and to ensure a common cockpit layout to A330s, which would save on training costs. Obviously, we can go more into depth on this topic, when the time comes.
The quote from the COO of Air Italy was extracted from an interview with the COO of Air Italy, conducted by Alex Macheras. The full interview can be accessed here.