Air One number two (and growing) in Italian domestic market; international routes being cut back for winter

Image: Ribbon Cutting
Air One launched direct Milan Malpensa-Chicago O’Hare services on 26 June. Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Richard L Rodriquez, right, joined Italian Consul General Alessandro Motta, left, and Air One sales director Antonio Temporini at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The launch of Air One’s Milan Malpensa-Chicago O’Hare services was celebrated with a reception in downtown Chicago.

According to’s analysis of OAG schedule data Italy’s private Air One was the second fastest growing of Europe’s top 20 airlines with capacity up almost 18% this winter. However, the future of the airline is in doubt as the latest plan to rescue bankrupt Alitalia, involving the consortium known as CAI, apparently requires the merging of Air One with the bits of Alitalia the consortium considers worthy of purchasing. What this means for Air One is currently far from clear.

Seven million passengers in 2007 but too many empty seats

In 2007 Air One carried over seven million passengers on scheduled services, up 22% on the previous year. However, average annual load factor was a fairly indifferent 57.4%, the lowest of any AEA member and 20 percentage points below the AEA average in 2007. This is partly explained by the fact that the airline operates primarily domestic services where load factors are typically lower due to the extreme weekly peakiness of business traveller demand.

Chart: AirOne seasonality
Source: AEA

In 2008 traffic growth has faltered especially in recent months. However, year-to-date growth is still around 7% and looks likely to pick up again in the remaining months.

Image: AirOne
George Karamanos, communications & marketing director, Athens International Airport, and Antonio Temporini, vice president sales, Air One, inaugurate the Milan Malpensa-Athens service launched on 1 July.

Number two and only just behind Alitalia in Italy

This winter Air One will operate domestic routes from 19 Italian airports. Its capacity market share of the total Italian domestic market is estimated at around 27.5% which is not far behind Alitalia (with 31.0%) and well ahead of rivals such as Meridiana (10.6%), Windjet (7.0%), Ryanair (6.3%) and easyJet (5.7%).

Airport (code) Air One Weekly domestic seats All carriers Weekly domestic seats Air One Domestic seat share
Rome Fiumicino (FCO) 64,204 205,326 31.3%
Milan Linate (LIN) 33,506 87,663 38.2%
Naples (NAP) 17,356 40,752 42.6%
Turin (TRN) 13,112 32,686 40.1%
Palermo (PMO) 10,548 44,634 23.6%
Milan Malpensa (MXP) 7,882 45,670 17.3%
Bari (BRI) 7,814 21,989 35.5%
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 17 November 2008

Only at Alghero does Air One have a greater than 50% share of domestic capacity. The largest domestic airports at which it has no presence are Milan Bergamo and Verona.

Just eight international destinations this winter

This winter only eight international destinations will be served by Air One; Athens (from MXP and NAP), Berlin Tegel (MXP), Brussels (from FCO and MXP), Chicago O’Hare (MXP), Copenhagen (FCO), London City (LIN), Thessaloniki (MXP) and Zurich (NAP). Earlier this year the airline had also launched transatlantic flights to Boston but these were abandoned at the beginning of October after less than four months. Flights to Vienna from both Naples and Rome were dropped at the beginning of September and Paris CDG was dropped from Turin at the end of July.

The airline’s fleet currently consists of a mix of 18 737s, 22 A320s and two A330s. It also wet-leases an Avro RJ70, operated by Transwede, for services to London City. The airline has a major order for up to 70 more A320s as well as orders for A330s and A350s, though the latter are not expected to enter service until at least 2014.


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