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Air Italy flight operated by Qatar

Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:11 am

Right now there is Air Italy flight IG603 MXP-FCO in the air and it is operated by A7-Lag , an Airbus A320 from Qatar Airways. I am well aware of Qatar being a big shareholder in IG, but i had no idea they were operating flights on their behalf. Does anyone know what the deal is? and what service do you get on those flights: QR or IG's?? any other flights like that??
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Re: Air Italy flight operated by Qatar

Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:57 am

Qatar and its neighbors have had a falling out, over a year ago, and several surrounding countries will not allow the airline to fly there anymore, or even fly over their airspace. Thus, QATAR has a lot of idle aircraft so they are leasing them to other airlines. BA has leased some of their aircraft. So the aircraft might have the QATAR livery, but they are flying as another airlines. I do not know whose crew (although I presume they are QATAR) or what service is onboard.
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Re: Air Italy flight operated by Qatar

Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:09 pm

That airplane has been flying for months on behalf of IG (it should be a wet lease, albeit I'm not aware of the details) due to the fact that IG currently have a sorry short/medium-haul fleet. After all, also IG's long-haul fleet is made up of old QR aircraft (presently 332s) since IG is de facto QR's Italian subsidiary.
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Re: Air Italy flight operated by Qatar

Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:10 pm

It is interim extra capacity. Additionally, Air Italy's 737MAX deliveries have been pushed back due to Boeing production delays, so QR has been providing extra lift. In addition to IG plans to shortly retire some of their older leased fleets. These flights are crewed by QR as no IG crew has been trained for the A320. QR has extra A320's, 8 of them, were supposed to be for their Al-Maha Airways but the KSA did not allow that project to proceed.
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Re: Air Italy flight operated by Qatar

Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:14 pm

Seems like it works out well for everyone. IG has need for narrowbodies, QR has a whole bunch it can't use at home. I questioned QRs approach with IG, especially given the Italian government's refusal to let Alitalia die, but this is a good solution to a crappy situation.
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Re: Air Italy flight operated by Qatar

Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:10 am

This A320 is operating on schedules that were scheduled with the B38M, which is QR's order book completely (although the first two were sold and leased back). I have to wonder if the MAX 8 order would have been kept otherwise, sold to a lessor, or if QR would create a leasing company itself, if it didn't find someone to place the order with (here, IG). QR and the EU aren't exactly strangers with intra-EU operations though; they provided 10 planes during the Monarch rescue flights (operating under Speedbird callsigns).

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