Meridiana ( after the merger with Eurofly Meridiana fly temporarily ) is an Italian airline based in Olbia in Sardinia. It offers scheduled and charter flights and maintains bases at the airports in Olbia, Florence and Verona.
Founding and first years
The funded solely with private capital Alisarda airline was founded on March 29, 1963 on the initiative of Prince Karim Aga Khan IV with the initial goal of promoting the development of tourism on the Costa Smeralda in the north -east of Sardinia, which until then only by sea was reached.
Began in 1964, the airline made its operation from Olbia - Venafiorita airport. In the first year it carried 186 passengers with eight seater aircraft from Beechcraft C- 45th After the acquisition of two North 262 with 26 seats Alisarda consecrated 1966, the flights from Rome and Milan to Olbia and the gradual increase in tourism traffic to Sardinia -actuated Alisarda new investments: The North 262 were replaced by larger Fokker F-27 and to then unpaved runway of Venafiorita has been adapted to the new requirements and provided with a coating of cement and bitumen. During this time, the interconnection network has been extended to other airports like Cagliari, Genoa, Turin, Bologna and Pisa. At this time carried Meridiana approximately 5,640 passengers annually. Of 1968 exceeded the threshold of 20,000 passengers carried has been exceeded.
Alisarda in the Jet Age
In 1974, the Fokker F-27 were by two Douglas DC-9 14 - exchanged as many as received their service with the opening of the new airport of Olbia - the first jets of society. As part of the new Airport Building Alisarda also built a large hangar, which features the airline were thus able to take over the technical service their aircraft themselves. After taking over the DC - 9, the routes were extended abroad. New goals were Geneva, Zurich, Paris -Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf. Even within Italy, there was the brand route network with flights to Naples and Palermo further.
Only in 1990 was obtained the license for the Italian mainland and was able to fly in direct competition with Alitalia. The first compounds led from Rome to Milan, Venice, Catania and Palermo.
With the participation of the Aga Khan in 1991 merged with the companies Alisarda LA Canarias, UniversAir and Euravia to Meridiana. Then the new Meridiana built their shares in the Italian travel market continues. The fleet consisted at this time now of three BAe 146-200, six Douglas DC -9- 51 and eight McDonnell Douglas MD- 82nd
1997 Meridiana was offered by the rival Alitalia a codeshare agreement.
Development since 2000
After Meridiana carried over three million passengers in 2000, broke the passenger numbers after the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 by up to 25 percent. By 2003, the company had rebounded.
2006 Meridiana involved with 30 percent of the Italian Eurofly also, in November 2009, the merger of the two airlines was announced. Then we were working together on the basis of previous Meridiana Meridiana fly under the new name.
In February 2011 it was announced that Meridiana fly negotiated with the largest Italian airline Alitalia about a possible merger. In the spring of 2013, Alitalia related to pressure from the European Commission with comments and announced that there would be no merger.
In July 2011, the takeover of Air Italy Meridiana fly has been announced at a price of 89.9 million euros.
In January 2013, the Italian Civil Aviation Authority Meridiana fly withdrew for economic reasons until further their permanent operating license, it was replaced by a year as temporary. At the same time it was announced that the daughter of Air Italy will promptly fully integrated into Meridiana fly. A few weeks later it was announced that operates Meridiana fly again in the future under the name Meridiana. Coinciding with the return naming Meridiana and the dissolution of the subsidiary Air Italy announced that it would no longer operate in the low price segment but to position itself as a scheduled airline operating at normal prices in the future.
Meridiana flies from several Italian airports mainly domestic destinations as well as some European cities and holiday destinations at, including London, Moscow and Nice. In Germany, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Dresden and Munich are served by direct flights from Olbia. In intercontinental air traffic Meridiana also serves New York City and also seasonal holiday destinations such as Punta Cana, Mombasa, Seychelles, Mauritius and the Maldives. In addition, Meridiana also performs charter flights to various European and certain non-European destinations.
In scheduled traffic within Italy Meridiana is in the connections between Sardinia and the mainland market leader.
Merdiana maintains with several companies codeshare agreement, including, since October 30, 2011 with Air Berlin flights from Italy to Germany.
As of July 2013, the fleet of 27 aircraft consists of Meridiana with an average age of 19 years: