Italy’s Sky Alps plans June launch from Balzano Airport

Italian regional startup carrier Sky Alps plans to launch its first routes in mid-June.

The startup carrier has leased a pair of De Havilland Dash 8-400s from Canadian lessor Chorus Aviation in preparation for the launch. Sky Alps is a subsidiary of Italian renewable energy specialist Fri-El Green Power, which has management connections with Bolzano Airport (BZO) in northeast Italy.

Sky Alps will launch service on June 14 with 3X-weekly BZO-Rome Fiumicino (FCO) flights and 2X-weekly BZO-Parma (PMF) flights. It will operate the BZO-Olbia (OLB) route starting June 15, followed by 2X-weekly BZO-Ibiza (IBZ) service starting June 17. Internationally, the carrier will fly 2X-weekly between BZO and Berlin Airport (BER) from June 30 and 2X-weekly BZO-Dusseldorf (DUS) flights will commence on July 2.

Since the modernization of BZO in 1999, several airline operators and investors from South Tyrol have tried and failed to establish profitable scheduled air services at the Italian airport.

The formerly Innsbruck-based Tyrolean Airways made the first attempt in 1999 with scheduled services to from BZO to FCO and Frankfurt (FRA), but both routes failed to be economically viable. In 2002, Austria-based Air Alps operated schedule services at BZO, and between 2013 and 2015, Switzerland’s Darwin Airlines, operated by Etihad Regional, flew the BZO-FCO route.

In recent years, regular charter services from Bolzano to several southern Italy tourism destinations have been operated by Austrian Airlines using Dash 8-400s.

BZO recently received permission to extend its 1,293 m (4,200 ft.) runway whenever it becomes necessary to accommodate larger aircraft.

Photo credit: De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited

Kurt Hofmann

Kurt Hofmann has been writing on the airline industry for 25 years. He appears frequently on Austrian, Swiss and German television and broadcasting…