The delivery ceremony of ITA Airways’ first Airbus A330-900 was held on April 26, 2023, at the Airbus Delivery Center in Toulouse, in the presence of Philippe Mhun, Executive Vice President Programmes and Services Airbus, Christophe Molus, Senior Vice President Airbus at Rolls Royce, Alex Khatibi, Vice President Marketing and Commercial Affairs Air Lease Corporation, Riccardo Privitera, Director Flight Operations ITA Airways, and Francesco Presicce, Chief Technology Officer ITA Airways.
Airbus has delivered to Italy’s flagship carrier the first fully configured A330neo for ITA Airways and the only one of its kind. The delivery flight from Toulouse to Fiumicino will be powered by a 16 per cent blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
“Today the strategic partnership with Airbus takes one step forward. I am delighted to be here in person at the Toulouse headquarter on the occasion of the delivery of the first Airbus A330neo completely built according to ITA Airways’ new cabin design” said Francesco Presicce, Chief Technology Officer of ITA Airways. “With Airbus, the unique aircraft supplier for our fleet, we have created a special synergy from the beginning, involving different areas of collaboration and business development, always with the aim of realising a more modern, comfortable and fuel-efficient air mobility, equipped with cutting-edge technologies”.
ITA Airways’ new Airbus is dedicated to Gelindo Bordin, the marathon runner and Olympic champion, and follows the airline’s strategy of dedicating its Blue Savoia liveried aircraft to Italian sports champions.
The Airbus A330neo is the Company’s benchmark in terms of technology, digitization, innovation, efficiency and design and ultimate expression of Made in Italy.
Award-winning Airspace cabin – which provides the highest levels of comfort and increased cabin space, a new lighting system, sophisticated in-flight entertainment systems and full WiFi connectivity throughout the cabin. It features a three-class configuration: Business, with 30 reclining Thompson Vantage XL seats, Premium with 24 seats, and Economy with 237 seats, of which 36 dedicated to Comfort Economy – all by Safran. The 30 business class seats fully recline into full lie-flat beds, with direct aisle access.
Interiors designed by Walter De Silva – a perfect expression of the flagship carrier’s new identity, the interior spaces offer the brand’s stylistic features with the aim of satisfying the need for ‘people centricity’, with the cabin design flowing seamlessly between the classes. The cabin of ITA Airways’ A330neo, designed by the genius of the designer Walter De Silva, was inspired by the idea of bringing back a pleasant as well as coherent sensation to the interior of the aircraft, one that was consistent with the choice of a journey above the clouds. Comfort, elegance, simplicity and above all the use of natural materials and colors are at the core of the creative concept which aims at enhancing the quality of life on board and ensuring maximum passenger comfort during all flight phases. Blue and sand are the predominant colours, while the utmost attention to detail is expressed by the embroidered logo on the headrests, the Italian flag to mark the Company identity, and the leather-wrapped Business seats. The A330neo is also the first aircraft to feature stain-resistant fabrics seats in Premium and Economy class. An important feature is the progressive set-up of the natural lighting, which changes seamlessly based on the different situations on board. The special attention to color is expressed in 6 light scenarios that provide cyclic changes in intensity to ensure the best visual comfort. The lighting features the following flight phase-color combinations:
- Boarding: passengers are greeted with a light blue ambiance inside the cabin, providing continuity with the exterior livery
- take-off and landing: green light signals communicate a sense of safety
- in-flight relax: blue light combined with beams of warm light and variations in intensity
- meals: a warmer light with neutral shades brings out the colors of the different dishes
- sunset/sunrise: warm lights gradually dim and brighten to regulate the sleep cycle.
A state-of-the-art IFE system is equipped on all seats, which are featuring 17.3” (in Business), 15.6” (in Premium Economy) and 13.3” (in Economy) low reflectance touchscreen displays with 4K resolution (IFE Rave system) for a smooth user experience. Thanks to the new system, customers will be able to view destination information through an interactive 3D map and enjoy a range of on-demand audio and video content, movies, TV series and music including 372 hours of video programming and 22 hours of audio programming.
The aircraft is also equipped with Bluetooth audio and a connectivity system through which, via a portal, customers can purchase different service packages according to their needs: messaging, mailing and internet browsing, streaming.
Sustainability: the arrival of the lighter, quieter, and more efficient A330neo marks yet another important step in ITA Airways’ Sustainability Plan, which envisions a fleet including 80 percent new-generation aircraft by end of 2026. The A330neo delivers a 25 percent reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per seat compared to previous generation aircraft. The plan will enable the company to become Europe’s greenest airline by 2026. In terms of cutting-edge technology, the Airbus A330neo also incorporates the latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, new wings, a range of aerodynamic innovations, and is capable of flying 7,200 nm / 13,334 km non-stop.
ITA Airways’ first A330neo further strengthens the airline’s strategy of building a fleet entirely featuring Airbus aircraft, with 68 currently in operation (4 A220s, 50 A320 Family, 8 A330-200s and 6 A350-900s). The A330neo expands ITA Airways’ long-haul fleet and will enter operation in June to serve the airline’s new intercontinental destinations.