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The History of Meridiana


From Alisarda to Meridiana

On May 3rd 1991 in an Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting, in consideration of the new company profile that saw the company expanding its operations to Europe, the name of the company was change to Meridiana S.p.A.

The graphic image of the company was also renewed with the adoption of a new logo. An agreement with the Department of Transportation was signed which strengthened Meridiana’s position nationally and at the European level, with expansion projects in particular from the two poles of Florence and Verona.

From Florence two daily flights were inaugurated, one to Catania and the other to Palermo, and later, international flights to Barcelona, Paris, London and Frankfurt, operated with the BAe146-200, were launched. A Business Class service, called Electa, was newly introduced. The numbers of passengers carried in 1991 were 1.701.400.

In 1992, with the acquisition of two new MD-82, Meridiana’s fleet amounted to sixteen jets: seven MD-82, six DC9-51 and three BAe146-200. Also in 1992 Meridiana activates the first direct flight between Verona and London and, at the end of October, it replaces the national airline in the route Verona-Rome-Verona with four daily flights. With a work force of 1,414 (including 264 seasonal employees) the company carried 1,932,000 passengers in 1992 and had an operating income of 342 billion liras.

The development of the activity of air transportation was also coupled to the steady updating of the structures and of the technical know-how used in the maintenance of the Meridiana fleet. Presently Meridiana also carries out maintenance operations for third parties at its technical bases in Olbia and Florence. Meridiana was the first airline in Italy, and the fourth in Europe, to obtain the Certificate of Maintenance Company, granted by the Italian Aeronautical Registry in accordance to the JAR145 regulations that establish the standards and requirements based on the European Community rules.

Among other things, a coveted recognition of the role of Meridiana in the European context was the nomination by the CEE of HH Prince Aga Kan, the majority shareholder, as a member of the Committee of Sages, established by the CEE with the object of studying the possible evolution of the aeronautical sector in Europe and of recommending the appropriate measures to favour its development.