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ITA Airways To Wet Lease 2 German Airways Embraer E190 Jets

On March 28th, ITA Airways will be adding additional services out of Milan’s Linate airport. Designed to service business travelers, the airline will deploy smaller regional jets with flights to London City, Luxembourg, and Geneva. The main problem at the moment is that the airline doesn’t have small aircraft of its own. The airline’s solution: Wet lease the jets from German Airways.

New business-oriented routes

Announced on February 18th, ITA Airways says that its customers will soon have a few more destinations available to them out of Milan’s Linate airport. From March 28th, travelers will be able to fly directly from the airport to destinations such as London City, Luxembourg, and Geneva.

“These are airports and destinations where profitability and operating conditions are guaranteed by smaller aircraft,” ITA Airways said in a statement, adding that this “fully explains the choice for the German carrier’s Embraer E190, an aircraft not currently available in the ITA Airways fleet.”

From Linate specifically, all three destinations would be new routes with no direct competition. For service to London City, British Airways currently operates this route with its CityFlyer subsidiary. However, this service will end on March 26th as it moves to Milan Malpensa. Likely a strategic timing decision, ITA Airways will pick up where BA left off just days after.

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The routes are specifically designed for business travelers. Photo: GCMap.com

A temporary move until the Airbus A220 arrives

The move to secure the services of German Airways and two E190s is purely temporary. ITA Airways will eventually operate these routes with its own

jets as soon as the first Airbus A220s join the fleet.

Don’t expect the Embraer jets to be flying in ITA Airways’ distinct blue. The two E190s will maintain the German Airways livery. However, they will also be sporting an additional decal which will read “Operated by ITA Airways.”

Both aircraft will feature two-class configurations suited to the Italian flag carrier’s specifications. This will see a domestic business class known as “Superior,” and a standard economy service.

The wet lease agreement serves another purpose. According to the airline, these routes are part of a “market test” with a selected fleet and a specific partner “to achieve economic and operational efficiencies.”

German Airways has a total fleet of five Embraer E190 aircraft. The average age of these jets is nearly 15 years. These are currently configured with 12 seats in business class and 88 in economy class.

Flights on sale now

With service beginning in late March, flights are already on sale on ITA Airways’ channels. For the 2022 summer season, ITA Airways will operate services with the following times and frequencies out of Linate:

  • London City: 18 flights weekly. Three flights daily Mondays to Fridays, one flight on Saturdays, and two flights on Sundays.
  • Luxembourg: 12 flights weekly. Twice daily on weekdays, once daily on weekends.
  • Geneva: 12 flights weekly. Twice daily on weekdays, once daily on weekends.

What do you think of this move? Will there be enough demand on these routes to generate profit for ITA Airways? Let us know by leaving a comment.


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