This Airbus A340-500 is Italy’s new Air Force One

Italy's Government A340-500. The contract was cancelled during earlier this year.

Here’s I-TALY, the new A340 of the Italian Air Force VIP fleet.

The above photograph was taken on Jun. 30, as the new Italian Air Force Airbus A340 was performing ILS approaches to runway 16L at Rome-Fiumicino airport.

The aircraft is a A340-500 airliner that was leased from Etihad Airways for State Flights, replacing the ageing A319CJ in service with the 31° Stormo (Wing) based at Ciampino whose task is bringing the Italian Prime Minister, the Head of State and other members of the Government in every place of the world with its specialized fleet of executive aircraft.

The aircraft does not carry the typical military registration (MM – Matricola Militare) but a rather appropriate civilian “I-TALY.”

The wide-body arrived in Italy from Abu Dhabi on Feb. 1, 2016, flying as EY8569.

Image credit: Giovanni Maduli


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Given the aircraft is leased just how “aggressive” can they get with modifications?

    Maybe being from the US has shaped my image of what an aircraft meant to transport our head of state… but given it is leased could the aircraft be equipped with self defence systems and specialized communications equipment?

  2. Only 8 A340-500 are in service and they have very long legs (up to 17000 km range).

  3. One of the stupidest operations conducted by the Italian gov…plane was leased then kept as a hangar queen for months because Air Force pilots couldn’t fly a civilian leased plane..they didn’t know their own bureaucracy. Aircraft test flights done by etihad crews untill 15 days ago…
    Want a long range plane? They already had the 767…
    The 319s aren’t that old, the interiors are. Could have refitted them with new ones.
    The old planes are the falcons, placed on market and no one wants to buy them, guess why…
    Sources? People working in FCO and CIA

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