SEA Milan Airports Closing In On Full Recovery

SEA Milan Airports
Credit: Pier Marco Tacca/Getty

SEA Milan Airports, which operates the city’s Malpensa and Linate airports, expects traffic to surpass pre-pandemic levels during the summer 2023 season.

Milan Linate has already exceeded 2019 European traffic volumes, while Milan Malpensa is currently operating at -5% compared to 2019. However, Andrea Tucci, SEA's vice-president of aviation business development, notes a positive trend, saying the gap is closing “month by month.”

He adds: “The recovery is significant in terms of destinations: while in Europe, America, North Africa and the Middle East, the recovery is complete, in Asia and the Far East it is accelerating. Notably, Korean Air, Cathay Pacific and Air India from Delhi have returned."

Tucci speaks to the growth of their network, noting that: “Our network map has also witnessed the addition of new destinations, including Bahrain, Amman, Taipei, Chicago and Montreal. Air China has resumed operations, with the inclusion of Wenzhou to complement the traditional services to Beijing and Shanghai.”

The summer of 2023 will witness an increase of more than 50% in long-haul capacity. In total, there will be 28.5 million seats offered from SEA Milan Airports, with 20 million of them from Milan Malpensa.

Looking ahead, Tucci says that the introduction of new technologies from aircraft manufacturers will be crucial for thinner routes being launched from Milan and extending seasonal services throughout the year.

He says the Far East, including Japan, China and India, holds particular interest—although certain external factors such as the ban on Russian airspace and fleet utilization recovery may present challenges in the short term.

However, Tucci expresses optimism about the Chinese market's untapped potential and anticipates the return of connections to Thailand.

“Once we get back to 2019 figures, we expect a resurgence on the familiar upward trajectory we were accustomed to before the pandemic, thanks to the attractiveness of Milan and the opportunities presented by its catchment area,” Tucci says.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.