The Itapemirim group’s project to launch a new airline in Brazil by its CEO, Tiago Senna, this week. According to the executive, the company will be called ITA Transportes Aereos and intends to take advantage of the excess supply of used aircraft to start its flights in 2021.
Revealed in early 2020, the initiative envisaged a low cost model with A220 jets and Q400 turboprops, but the company’s management decided to take advantage of the surplus of A320 planes on the market, caused by the pandemic, to acquire 10 jets in Europe and India. ITA’s goal is to reach 50 aircraft of this model in the coming years.
ITA also intends to rely on labor from other Brazilian airlines, especially LATAM, which has laid off 2,700 crew members in recent weeks. The company is the largest operator of the Airbus jet and many of its pilots are expected to be used on the new airline. The selection of employees will start as early as September, the CEO said.
Senna also revealed that ITA will operate from the largest hubs in Brazil, Guarulhos (São Paulo), Brasília and Galeão (Rio de Janeiro) airports, and that its aircraft will offer seats with “comfort” space. He guaranteed that the North and Northeast regions, the poorest in the country, will be included in the future network due to the road division’s performance.
According to the executive, today the challenge is to bring the A320s to Brazil due to the restrictions imposed by some countries due to the coronavirus. ITA seeks to speed up your transfer to start the maintenance, configuration and painting processes with the company’s livery, which will follow the layout shown on models, with the fuselage in a gold yellow and the blue tail. According to Senna, it was a requirement of the group’s owner, Sidnei Piva.
ITA also promises to offer a differentiated service, but without high prices. According to the company’s CEO, there will be work to reduce costs to add more quality to the services offered to passengers.
Bankruptcy proceedings do not affect plans
Asked about the group’s financial situation, Tiago Senna acknowledged that Itapemirim is undergoing a restructuring due to the bankruptcy, but that the new airline is out of this process. According to him, Brazilian and Arab investment funds are financing the project, but he did not detail the amounts involved.
In early 2020, Piva traveled with the governor of the state of São Paulo, João Doria, in a delegation that visited Dubai. On the trip, the businessman said that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s private fund, Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, would have agreed to invest $ 500 million in his company.
ITA Transportes Aéreos will be Itapemirim’s third attempt in commercial aviation. In the 1990s, the company operated an air cargo subsidiary with Boeing 727 jets, but it was short-lived. In 2017, Piva tried to acquire the regional Passaredo, but the deal ended up undone.