Italy’s flag carrier and largest airline, Alitalia, is in the process of winding up its operations. It will be replaced by government-funded ITA from October 14th. Let’s take a look at the various aircraft families that the carrier has operated over the years.
Alitalia’s short-haul fleet today
Before we delve into Alitalia’s long and rich operational history, let’s start by establishing which aircraft make up its current fleet. Like many European carriers, its short-haul operations are covered by a single aircraft family, namely the Airbus A320 series. It operates three of this popular family’s four variants, with Planespotters.net listing them as follows.
- A319-100 – 38 aircraft, of which 21 are active, and 17 are parked. They have an average age of 14.8 years, and a further three historical examples used to fly for Alitalia.
- A320-200 – 19 aircraft, of which 18 are active, and one is parked. They have an average age of 14.3 years, and a further 16 historical examples used to fly for Alitalia.
- A321-100 – Five aircraft, all of which are currently parked. They have an average age of 22.3 years, and a further 18 historical examples used to fly for Alitalia.
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Two present long-haul families
In terms of Alitalia’s long-haul fleet, this also has a conspicuous Airbus presence in the form of 11 A330-200s. Just four of these aircraft, which have an average age of 10.7 years, are currently active. Alitalia has also operated a further three historical examples.
Boeing’s only representation at the Italian flag carrier comes in the form of the 777 family. In addition to a single active 12-year-old 777-300ER, Alitalia also flies 11 777-200ERs. Eight of these aircraft, which have an average age of 18 years, are currently parked.
While Alitalia’s fleet seems comparatively uniform today, the airline has operated an immense variety of aircraft earlier in its history. In addition to its current A320 and A330 family aircraft, the Italian flag carrier has also flown the A300, Airbus’s first design.
Meanwhile, Boeing sees far greater representation in Alitalia’s historic fleet compared to today. It has operated one variant from each of the 707, 727, 737, and 767 families. However, perhaps its most interesting Boeing aircraft is the iconic 747, of which it operated the -100 and -200 passenger variants, as well as a single 747-400F.
But what about aircraft from outside the Airbus-Boeing duopoly? Unsurprisingly, with the airline having been in existence since 1946, Alitalia has operated plenty of these too! Listed by manufacturer, these aircraft are as follows.
- ATR – 42-300 and 72-200.
- Avro – 691 ‘Lancastrian’ Mk. III and RJ70.
- Bombardier – CRJ900ER.
- Convair – CV-340-41 and CV-440-81 ‘Metropolitan.’
- Curtiss – C-46A-45 ‘Commando.’
- Dornier – 328-110.
- Douglas – DC-3, C-54A ‘Skymaster,’ DC-4, DC-6, DC-7, and DC-8.
- Embraer – ERJ145LR and E170.
- Fiat – G.12CA and G.12LB.
- McDonnell Douglas – DC-9, DC-10, MD-11, and MD-82.
- Piaggio – P.166DL3.
- Savoia-Marchetti – SM.95C.
- Sud Aviation – SE 210 ‘Caravelle.’
- Vickers – Viscount 745D and Viscount 785D.
Today, Alitalia is in the process of winding down amid difficulties exacerbated by coronavirus. Thus far, estimates regarding the size of the ‘new’ Alitalia have included fleets of either 45 or 75 aircraft. Regardless of how many planes it retains, this will not change its rich history. As we have established, this has seen a myriad of aircraft serve the airline over the years.
How many different Alitalia aircraft have you flown on? Which is your favorite? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!