Aeroitalia expands regional presence with Air Connect deal

Aeroitalia has signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire a 93.86% shareholding of Romania’s Air Connect.

The news comes after Aeroitalia CEO Gaetano Intrieri hinted earlier this year that his airline was interested in purchasing the Romanian regional operator. In a post on social media, the Rome-based carrier reported that the deal would allow it to increase its presence in the Italian regional market and strengthen its feed capacity at its Rome/Fiumicino hub.

No further details regarding the purchase have been released.

Air Connect began operations in August 2022 after being established by seven Romanian private investors. Last year it posted a net loss of €4.2m.

The airline currently operates a pair of 68-seat ATR 72-600s
The airline currently operates a pair of 68-seat ATR 72-600s Aeroitalia

The airline currently operates a pair of 68-seat ATR 72-600s and initially offered domestic flights across the country. Both aircraft now fly exclusively for the Italian carrier out of Ancona/Marche airport, which recently launched a swathe of new routes from the airport, including Rome, Milan, Naples, Vienna, Barcelona and Bucharest. The expansion made Aeroitalia the largest carrier from the airport in terms of flights operated and second behind Ryanair in terms of capacity.

Aeroitalia was also established in 2022 and operates from several Italian cities to various European destinations. According to its website, the airline has a fleet of six 189-seat Boeing 737-800s and a single 737-700 with 148 seats. It is also expected to receive two more 737-800s from Air Lease Corporation next year.