Milan Bergamo’s enhanced long-haul connectivity
Milan Bergamo Airport is the closest gateway for five million people living in local provinces of the Lombardy region, benefitting from its position in the affluent, industrial heart of Italy. The airport serves Milan, the country’s largest financial centre, Lombardy as a whole, and the ever-popular Italian Lakes and mountains, providing strong year-round and well-balanced demand from both inbound and outbound passengers.
With enhanced connectivity via its airline partners, Milan Bergamo is witnessing an ever-increasing demand for long-haul connections and variabilities from the gateway’s impressive catchment area: “Due to the number of diverse societies in Milan, as well as the numerous wealthy and productive north-east Italian cities for which Milan Bergamo is the most convenient airport, there is strong demand and opportunities for many connections,” explains Giacomo Cattaneo, Director of Commercial Aviation, SACBO.
Sialkot in demand
Claiming an impressive catchment area, which covers the capital city itself, Milan Bergamo also serves sizeable Asian communities in the area which has created the need to deliver viable routes for a core market and has seen Sialkot become one of the busiest connecting destinations for the airport. Both Air Arabia and flydubai are experiencing abundant success catering for the demand: “One of the largest Pakistani communities in Italy resides close to our airport, with 90% of the population of Asians in Lombardy living in the eastern part of the region making Milan Bergamo their closest airport,” continues Cattaneo. “Air Arabia has a fantastic network of connecting destinations in Pakistan and India and it’s thanks to this that we are able to support our passengers’ needs.”
SpiceJet is set to reinstate a vital direct service to Amritsar (with a technical stop in Georgia) from next month, serving another main city for the Asian community living in the Lombardy region, but with Colombo, Delhi and Dhaka also ranking high as connecting destinations, it is clear to see Milan Bergamo is positioning itself as an ideal feeder for long-haul destinations.
Air Arabia is encountering good results mainly with VFR traffic, though Thailand, Oman and Sri Lanka are proving very successful for leisure, while flydubai (codeshare with Emirates) is seeing a significant rise on a wider range of connections to leisure destinations such as the Maldives, Kathmandu, and Zanzibar, in addition to business demand to Singapore and Australia, also fueled by the airlines business class cabin.
Ankara in prime position
Milan Bergamo’s second-busiest connecting destination is Ankara, served by Turkish Airlines and Pegasus. “With almost three daily services to Istanbul presenting multiple choices for our customers, we have witnessed connection growth with both Turkish carriers to the capital city, alongside Antalya and Izmir,” says Dario Nanna, Commercial Aviation Specialist, SACBO.
Milan Bergamo is experiencing a growing phenomenon with connections to ongoing destinations. Having recently added Norwegian and Georgian Airways to the list of carriers offering connections, the Italian gateway is well-positioned to add further long-haul opportunities: “Our hope and expectations are to consolidate traffic to UAE and eventually increase weekly frequencies on both Sharjah and Dubai links,” adds Nanna. “With such a strong network we believe we are ideal for further long-haul opportunities serving North and South America, which are similarly important markets for our area.”