Italian airline ITA Airways received its first of four Airbus A350s this week, with the newly delivered jet offering a tantalizing glimpse of its latest business class.
Born from the ashes of state-owned Alitalia, which collapsed under crippling debt in 2021, ITA Airways is something of a reboot – a fresh start with an updated fleet and focus.
Now parked at Rome-Fiumicino Airport, the A350 was destined for Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines, although financial problems prevented it from taking delivery. Their loss is ITA’s gain.
Named after Italian racing legend Valentino Rossi, the aircraft retains the same two-cabin layout implemented for Hainan, with 33 seats in business class and 301 in economy class. There is no premium economy.
In business, the seat is based on Collins’ ‘Super Diamond’, which travelers will likely recognize from Air Canada’s Boeing 787 Signature Class, Fiji Airways’ A350 Business Class and ‘The Business’ cabin, today missing, from Virgin Australia.
It’s a staple for many airlines, with its 1-2-1 configuration offering aisle access for every guest, as well as ample storage space and an extended bed for passengers to stretch out on. on these longer flights.
An eye-catching blue and cream color scheme flows from nose to tail – a more contemporary look than that featured on its current fleet. It is, however, very safe, with only a subtle Italian flag on the headrests and red seat belts adding a much-needed touch.
ITA Airways flies to 41 domestic and international destinations, including London, Athens and Madrid. As a member of the SkyTeam alliance, business class and elite status holders can access 750 partner brand and airline lounges worldwide.
Although state-owned, the Italian government is pushing ahead with plans to sell the airline by the end of June, with Economy Minister Daniele Franco setting a deadline for binding offers of May 23.
Delta, Lufthansa/MSC and Air France are the three potential bidders.