Air Italy Emerges As New Brand For Meridiana With New Strategic Brand Image

Air Italy will become the new brand for Meridiana, Italy’s legacy carrier that currently competes with Alitalia. 49% owned by Qatar Airways, the airline has announced an extensive growth plan and inject of new aircraft including 5 A330 aircraft from Qatar Airways.

The images at the launch show off fully-flat beds, a 31″ seat pitch in economy (labelled ‘generous’ although that might be artistic licence) and a full-service offering. Joining the fleet will be 787s and 737Max aircraft too.


The new look, in aqua and maroon, as well as new name are both potentially strategic. With Alitalia’s future still in question, and the need for a country to have a national carrier, the new name Air Italy positions itself front and centre as a potential national brand. It also helps create brand confusion in the market place, with a similar named competitor, it is easy to step on the heels of the much longer running brand.

Air Italy isn’t exactly new either, it’s existed in the past as a subsidiary of Meridiana, and first started flying back in 2005. But the previous livery was very similar to that of Alitalia at the time. The new livery, in aqua and maroon, isn’t the most Italian of looking colour schemes, potentially the reason for this is to act as a point of difference between Alitalia and Air Italy, but the addition of maroon is most likely heavily influenced by Qatar Airways.


The first A330s from Qatar Airways will have the same hard product in the maroon fabrics as Qatar Airways, so potentially the most cost effective way of branding the airline is reverse engineered, literally matching the curtains to the drapes.


The Air Italy Business Cabin will feature the same colours as Qatar Airways Business Cabin

The livery also has positioned the logotype Air Italy in a challenging spot. By creating such a large and broad typeface, the negative spaces of the letters are disrupted by the windows on the 737, making it harder and less legible to read. The “Y” graphic on the tail is certainly unique, and eye catching, however, repeating graphics and patterns are usually adopted by low cost and metro carriers (Vueling / Porter / Volotea etc) so it will be interesting to see how this brand materialises across the rest of the customer experience touch-points.


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  1. Kenneth

    I dislike the one-word AIRITALY as much as I (continue to) dislike the one-word AIRFRANCE. And the maroon color of the Qatari national flag – applied to an Italian airliner – doesn’t exactly remind me of espressos sipped in the Campo di Fiori, or of summers spent paddling off Capri’s Faraglioni.

    Frankly, this whole enterprise smells a bit off to me. Like three-day-old pasta pescatore.

  2. Tom

    I quite like new identity myself – I suppose with a name like Air Italy they’re able to get away with colours which aren’t “traditionally” Italian. I does however remind me a lot of the new LATAM. The font itself seems almost identical, and the strong emphasis on diagonals in the logo, especially by putting it on the side of the engines like that, is quite familiar. Not quite as original nor exciting as it could have been, but still feels fresh. Here’s hoping they join Oneworld!

  3. I agree with Kenneth ! And the brand and colors make eyes tired after seeing it for a while.

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