ITA Airways (AZ, Rome Fiumicino) will induct its first new-generation widebody aircraft in mid-2022, having signed a lease contract with ALAFCO for four A350-900s due for delivery in the second and third quarters, the Kuwaiti lessor disclosed in a stock market filing.

The ch-aviation fleets advanced module reveals that the quartet comprises units msn 285, 308, 323, and 338. All four flew for the first time in 2019 but have since been storage and are currently parked at Teruel airport. ALAFCO owns a further two A350-900s, which are placed with Hong Kong Airlines (HX, Hong Kong Int'l).

The airline's chief executive, Fabio Lazzerini, said earlier that the first A350 would arrive in June 2022.

In late September, two weeks before the launch of operations, ITA selected Airbus for its comprehensive fleet renewal as it seeks to rid itself of legacy aircraft inherited from Alitalia (AZA, Rome Fiumicino). However, the order placed with the manufacturer did not include the A350s: it only covered ten A330neo, eleven A320neo, and seven A220s. The airline stressed that it would also lease a further 56 aircraft, including the A350s. It did not elaborate on the exact number of A350s it would take within the plan but revealed that 13 out of the 56 leased aircraft would be widebodies.

ITA Airways' current widebody fleet comprises seven A330-200s, which are all ex-Alitalia stock and are 10.4 years old on average. The airline disclosed that the addition of the A350s would allow it to resume some of long-haul routes previously operated with B777-300(ER)s but not viable with the A330s, such as Buenos Aires Ezeiza and Tokyo Haneda.