Airbus A220 Airbus A220s will be added to ITA’s fleet (Photo: Airbus)

The Italian airline ITA

is on the starting blocks with its first flights scheduled for October 15. And even before it takes off, the company has already confirmed a first option for the lease and acquisition of new aircraft.

ITA has signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for 28 aircraft and with Air Lease Corporation for another 31 aircraft. The commitment to Airbus includes seven A220s and 11 A320neo family aircraft, as well as 10 A330neos. ITA’s commitment to Air Lease Corporation includes 15 A220s, two A320neos, nine A321neos and five A330-900s.

Over the longer term, the carrier says it expects to lease 56 aircraft out of the 105-aircraft fleet it plans to integrate by 2025. Among the other aircraft, the company says it will also operate Airbus A350s. Another lessor would be approached for this leasing.

Airbus, sole supplier of ITA

In fact, ITA, unlike the ex-Alitalia, will operate a fleet from a single aircraft manufacturer – Airbus in this case. The airline, which is to take over 52 former Alitalia aircraft, is not expected to include Alitalia’s few Boeing 777s in its fleet.

Many of ITA’s 59 new aircraft will replace older models over time. ITA expects the first Airbus delivery to take place in the first quarter of 2022 and the leased aircraft to be delivered in the second half of that year. Deliveries will continue until 2025.

The new national airline aims to have 70% of its fleet in 2025 made up of new generation aircraft, such as the A220 and A330neo.

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Alfredo Altavilla, ITA’s executive chairman, said in a statement that the contracts “boost our business plan to achieve our goals of a new environmentally friendly fleet and significantly lower operating and leasing costs.”