Italy's second largest carrier Meridiana has formally completed its merger with partner Eurofly establishing and a new company called Meridiana Fly. The merger process, which cements a partnership dating back to 2007 under which Meridiana already held a stake in the former Alitalia charter unit, was initiated in November and was formally completed on 28 February after Eurofly's board approved a capital increase. Following its merger the new joint company has:
- consolidated turnover of €800 million
- 90 destinations; 7 intercontintental, 48 international, 32 domestic
- 1,500 weekly flights from bases at Milan Malpensa, Verona, Florence, Cagliari and Olbia
- 35 aircraft comprising 17 MD-82s, nine A320s, four A319s, two ATR 42s
- 2,700 employees
Under the new structure holding company Meridiana Spa owns a 78.9% stake in Meridana Fly, a 79.8% stake in Olbia airport management company Geasar and 50.01% stake in a new engineering unit Meridiana Maintenance.
Through the merger the two airlines are hoping to improve their financial fortunes after both lost money in 2008. It comes as operators continue to scramble to stake their claims in the fragmented Italian market. Ryanair, easyJet and Lufthansa Italia have all expanded fast in Italy over the last year, looking to exploit opportunities in the market following the capacity cuts that accompanied the merger of Alitalia and Air One. A year on from the start of its merged existence, Alitalia has itself just announced plans aimed at reinvigorating its presence at Malpensa with the launch of new flights and growth plans under a new "smart carrier" Air One brand.
Source: Airline Business