Pisa topping Italian airport growth rankings; Ryanair now serves 28 destinations

Image: Runway
Delta operates a four-times weekly service from New York JFK to Pisa. Flights are operated with a 767-300ER with 214 seats.

In both 2006 and 2007 Pisa Galileo Galilei International Airport (PSA) was the fastest growing among Italy’s top 15 airports with passenger numbers up almost 30% in 2006 and a further 24% in 2007. It is now Italy’s 11th busiest airport handling 3.72 million passengers last year. Airlines share the runway with the Italian Air Force which also has a major presence at the airport.

Chart: Pisa airport traffic 1994-2007
Source: ENAC, Assaeroporti

In 2007 domestic passengers accounted for 833,000 passengers (about 22% of total) with international traffic accounting for the remaining 2.88 million. Domestic traffic was up 44% while international traffic increased almost 19%.

Chart: Pisa airport seasonality
Source: Assaeroporti

So far in 2008 traffic is up 10.6% making it the second fastest growing major Italian airport after Milan Bergamo (+14.6%). Seasonality is significant with traffic during the peak summer months well over twice as high as during the off-peak winter months.

Ryanair first arrived in 1998

Ryanair first started flying to Pisa in April 1998 when it began flights from its London Stansted base. It then added Brussels Charleroi in April 2001, Frankfurt Hahn in February 2002 and Hamburg Lűbeck in May 2003. Further routes from Barcelona Girona, Dublin, Glasgow Prestwick and Liverpool were added in 2005.

Since becoming a base (the airline currently has three aircraft stationed there) many more routes, including domestic ones have been added. New routes added in 2008 have been Bari, Birmingham, Constanta and Edinburgh, bringing the total up to 28 destinations and making Ryanair by far the biggest airline at the airport.

Airline Frequency share Capacity share Number of routes
Ryanair 42.0% 53.2% 28
easyJet 11.3% 11.8% 5
British Airways 5.4% 5.0% 1
WindJet 3.6% 4.4% 2
Alitalia 8.0% 4.1% 2
Jet2.com 3.6% 3.7% 5
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 15 September 2008

Ryanair operates a number of routes such as Alicante, Bournemouth and Oslo Torp on a seasonal (summer-only) basis. The only destinations it has ever dropped from the airport are Bremen, Doncaster/Sheffield, Friedrichshafen, Karlsruhe/Baden and Palma de Mallorca.easyJet operates daily flights on five routes to Bristol, London Gatwick and London Luton as well as Paris ORY and Berlin SXF. British Airways competes with easyJet on the Gatwick route offering three daily flights. Jet2.com operates less than daily flights to Belfast, Edinburgh, Leeds/Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle.

Other LCCs operating to the airport include TUIfly, clickair, Transavia.com, BelleAir, SkyEurope and Norwegian. Legacy carriers include Air France (to CDG), Finnair (to Helsinki), Iberia (to Madrid) and Lufthansa (to Munich). Maybe surprisingly Delta operates a four-times weekly flight from New York JFK.

Pisa   Ryanair is the biggest airline at Pisa, serving 28 destinations; it has a 42% frequency share and a 53.2% capacity share. Ryanair will launch Pisa – Palermo services at the end of October – a route on which it will compete against WindJet.

UK is biggest country market

The UK is by far the biggest country market with 30% of seat capacity compared to 23% on domestic routes and just over 11% on flights to Germany, the second biggest international market. There are just six weekly scheduled flights to Norway, four to Denmark, three to Sweden and two to Finland while routes to Central Europe are limited to Tirana in Albania (four times weekly with Belle Air), Constanta in Romania (thrice weekly with Ryanair) and Prague (twice weekly with SkyEurope). There are no scheduled flights to Poland.

Ryanair adding Palermo next month

Apart from the four Ryanair routes previously mentioned, other new routes started in 2008 include easyJet’s service to London Luton and SkyEurope’s link with Prague. At the end of October Ryanair will be adding another domestic route to Palermo. It will be competing on this route against WindJet.


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