Italian airline Meridiana has ordered four Airbus A319s to replace its four Firenze-based BAe 146-200s. The airline has been searching for a replacement for its 146s for quite some time, and was once considered a prime candidate for the Avro RJX. A decision was repeatedly postponed, however. The airline has been negotiating with several potential strategic partners, and wanted to keep its fleet renewal options open until a deal was concluded. With the choice settling on Alitalia (though negotiations have not yet been concluded), the Airbus narrowbody family became the natural choice. The first A319 is expected in March, with the others following in relatively short order. The airline’s MD-80s are expected to be replaced by A320s.
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