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The History of Meridiana


Alisarda's expansion

In 1978 Alisarda was assigned the concession of the route Cagliari-Milan-Cagliari; the organizational and operative capabilities of the company had practically doubled thanks also to the expansion of the fleet with two DC9-32. Services were extended also to Europe with flights from and to Sardinia from Geneva, Zurich, Paris, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf.

In the following years the increase in passenger traffic promoted the growth of the company incentivating new investments. In 1981 the two DC9-14 were replaced by three DC9-51 with 139 seats; the same year Alisarda obtained the concession of the routes from Cagliari to Bologna and Pisa and from Bologna to Catania. The numbers of passengers carried in 1982 was 722,000.

In 1983 the DC9-32 were replaced by two modern MD-82 with a seating capacity of 172.

In 1987, with a fleet consisting of three DC9-51 and three MD-82, the 1 million-passenger threshold was crossed for the first time with 1,015,000 passengers carried.

In 1988 the 25th anniversary of the company was celebrated with the acquisition of a fourth MD-82 and the inauguration of the route Verona-Catania-Verona.

In 1989 the Geasar S.p.A. (Gestione Aeroporti Sardi) began operations. This company, of which Alisarda holds at present 79.79% of the capital, manages the airport Olbia-Emerald Coast. Meanwhile the fleet grew with the arrival of a fifth MD-82 and three other DC9-51.

In 1990, Alisarda obtained the authorization to operate scheduled flights on the routes from Rome to Milan-Malpensa, Venice, Palermo and Catania, and from Verona to Naples and Palermo; that year the number of passengers carried was 1,547,290.

In 1991 the fleet increased further with the acquisition of a sixth MD-82 and three BAe146-200.