The first nine months of operation in the year 2001 were positive; then the company suffered the aftermath of the dramatic events of September 11 and of the incident at the Linate airport in Milan. As a consequence of the September 11 events air transportation worldwide decreased with peaks of up to 25%. In 2001 Meridiana carried 3.269.664 passengers.
Important commercial innovations were introduced by the company in 2002, in particular the program “Affari di Cuore” (romantic business) and the fare “RivoluzionAria” (revolution-air) that found a very positive reception in the market. The network of routes and the relative capacity were also optimised, following a logic of improvement and rationalization of the offer. In 2002 Meridiana carried 3.518.169 passengers with a variation of +7.6% relative to the previous year.
In January 2003, Meridiana launched its new position, by introducing its new commercial strategy based on a policy of one-way prices starting from 9 euro, combined with a traditional level of service. In 2003 Meridiana transported more than 4 million passengers, registering an increase of 14% compared with the year before.
In February 2004 Meridiana launched its Smart-fly offer: the first product for the business market with low-price costs on flights from Rome and Milano Linate and vice versa and from Rome and Verona and vice versa, starting form 9 euro.