Air Italy has taken delivery of their first Boeing 737MAX 8 following an event at Everett’s Future of Flight Aviation Center on May 11, 2018. The delivery was monumental, as the aircraft is the first Boeing 737MAX aircraft in Italy as well as the first aircraft overall for the recently launched full-service Italian carrier. The Qatari-backed airline has an additional 19 Boeing 737MAX 8s on order, along with 30 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner’s which are expected to arrive in 2019.
The aircraft, registered as EI-GFY, is fitted with both Business Class and Economy Class cabins in a 3-3 style layout. It is not yet confirmed if the middle seats will be blocked off for Business Class passengers.
Business Class seats onboard the aircraft seemed comparable to seats offered in Economy Class, except for the few extra inches of legroom.
Fliers booking Economy Class tickets will be in for a sleek, yet crammed seat—especially if passengers are 6-feet or taller. Boeing’s iconic Space Bins could be found onboard the aircraft. It should allow nearly every passenger to bring a full-size carry-on bag, which will certainly add to passenger comfort.
Although the windows aren’t those found on the revolutionary Boeing 787 Dreamliner, they still add a refreshing sense as they curve into the wall which provides more elbow-room when sitting in a window seat. Passengers will also notice that the seat offers a portable-device holder, rather than offering an IFE system.
Air Italy intends to launch several domestic and intra-European service with its Boeing 737MAX 8 aircraft. Flights serving New York, Miami, Bangkok and other international destinations will initially be served by an Airbus A330-200 aircraft before being replaced by Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners in 2019.
The Italian airline is backed by key investors Alisarda—with 51 percent stake—and Qatar Airways—holding a 49 percent stake, respectively.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, commented: “I am delighted to be at the Boeing Everett Delivery Centre today in Seattle to mark yet another landmark event, the delivery of Air Italy’s first new Boeing 737 Max aircraft in striking new livery, first presented in Milan in February this year. To see the aircraft here for the first time, it truly brings to life the next exciting chapter for Italy’s future carrier of choice, providing the people of Italy with the sophisticated travel experience that they deserve.” His Excellency also mentioned that he would not want Air Italy flying to Qatar Airways’ hub in Doha, Qatar. His Excellency wants the Italian airline to run on its own, without an overhanging influence from the larger Qatar Airways.
Air Italy intends to have 50 airplanes and fly 50 year-round routes by 2022.