I wonder what will happen to all the routes now operated by IV
I fly the CTA
multiple times every month and i always liked the possibility to choose between a lot of flights by AZ
,IV and BV.
90% of those flights were fully booked and you got to remember that now the FCO
is the busiest route in Italy for number of pax(but with a low yeld).
At this point i think that IG
(that codeshare with IV
on the route) and U2
(that already operate on FCO
) will start the FCO
i think they are waiting the next opening of Comiso airport in southern Sicily to open flights to CIA
Talking about the airlines involved:
About Windjet what can i say...i fly it just because is cheap(but not as cheap like FR
for example) but i think is the WORST airline in Italy...
It's planes are in terrible conditions(all of them are leased and comes from various airlines around the world),minimum in-flight service,the on-time performance is the worst possible,ground staff is unreliable.
I know a lot of IV
employees(and pretty much all IV
employees are sicilian),both ground and flight crews,and they know that their airline is just like i described it...
By the way some months ago rumours about financial problems of this airline started spreading around...they have problems paying the employees,paying for the maintainance and they had some planes stuck in airports around Europe(i know of one in AMS
and even three in Moscow) for some non-payments.
So this take over by AZ
poses some problems anyway:
1)What will happen to IV
A319-A320 fleet? As i said they are in pretty bad shape and at least they'll need a renewal of the interiors and some of them are IAE powered(AZ 320 family is CFM powered).
2)What will happen to IV
route system? The have hubs in CTA
(Rimini is the hub for east European routes). I really don't think that AZ
will keep RMI
and i also think that a lot of direct routes from Sicily will be re-routed to connections flights via FCO
3)What will happen to IV
employees? As i said pretty much all of them are Sicilian so in case of jobs cuts i expect strong opposition from the local government. Windjet is really important for the economy of Catania and Palermo.
4)How much will AZ
pay for IV
and what is gonna do with the financial debt of IV
Now talking about Blue Panorama and it's low cost brand Blu-Express:
I always thought that it was a good airline,with good on time performance,old planes but well mantained and with nice interiors,good in-flight service and a route system that worked as gap-filler on some routes not covered by other airlines.
This summer i started seeing some troubles,with flights delayed many hours and planes with technical issues(i was on a 757 at CTA
that coudn't start the engines and at the end the flight was 5 hours late for example).
I also found difficult to understand the sudden use of 757 or even 767 on a route like CTA
But in general BPA is considered to be and airline in good shape so this comes as a complete surprise.
will do with BPA?
Probably it's Blu-Express 737 will be leased out and the routes will be redeployed to AP
,and about the long-haul network i wonder if AZ
will keep both the planes and the routes. There is the possibily that BPA brand will remain active as the charter subsidiary of AZ