|Both charter carriers and Ryanair are launching their seasonal routes this week targeting the ski market (Photos: Giuseppe Miglietti)|
Turin airport has recently seen a number of routes being added and even more to come in the next few weeks. With the start of the ski season, this is also a time when several seasonal routes are starting and the Italian automotive capital has this week received charter services with the season’s first batch of skiers arriving from the UK, Sweden, Russia, Israel, Belgium and Poland.
Perhaps surprisingly, the fact that the 2006 Winter Olympics were held in and around Turin did not give the airport traffic a considerable boost. Instead, the airport’s growth was greater in the following year. Over the last ten years, the passenger numbers have climbed slowly but surely and are up 37%.
Domestic traffic makes up 60% of current capacity, while the top three international country markets are Germany (10%), the UK (10%) and France (6%). A notable route is LOT’s four times weekly ERJ-145 service from Katowice. This route can be presumed to be driven largely by business traffic relating to Turin-based Fiat’s Polish car factories, located in Tychy and Bielsko-Biała near Katowice.
|Source: Turin airport and Assaeroporti|
The airport’s seasonality profile is relatively flat. While a fall in passenger numbers starts in November, as is common at many European airports, the trough is quickly recovered by ski tourism and the airport consequently has peaks in both March and July. So far this year, passenger numbers are down 7% compared with the first eleven months of 2008.
Ryanair expanding; four new routes to be launched
Although low-cost carriers’ share of passenger numbers at Turin airport has grown from 8% in 2007 to 23% for this year’s first eleven months, Ryanair is now increasing its presence at the airport in hope of growing that share even further. The airline’s capacity in January 2010 will be a third higher than it was in January this year.
In addition to its already operating London Stansted, Brussels Charleroi, Girona and Trapani services, Ryanair will this weekend start five routes to Turin for the winter season. Bristol, Dublin, East Midlands and Glasgow Prestwick were also operated last winter, whereas Stockholm Skavsta is a new route. All start on 19 December 2009, while further new routes follow in the new year. Bari will be added in January (in competition with Alitalia), Brindisi (a former MyAir route) in February and Madrid (against Iberia) in April 2010.
Last winter, Ryanair served nearby Cuneo airport from four of its bases. This winter, the airline only offers London Stansted and a year-round Cagliari service to the airport, instead focussing on its Turin operations.
Alitalia still leading carrier by capacity this winter
|Airline||Frequency share||Capacity share||No. of routes|
|Source: OAG Max for w/c 18 Jan 2010
Note: Alitalia figures for Alitalia and Air One combined
While the new Alitalia (Alitalia and Air One combined) will have over a third of both frequency and capacity in January, Ryanair’s new route launches later in the season will mean that the low-cost carrier will offer the most routes from Turin.
Alitalia launches international routes at Turin
Having downscaled its northern Italian Milan Malpensa hub and focussed on Rome Fiumicino, Alitalia has now identified a demand for direct services from Turin. With Malpensa being approximately a 140 km drive from Turin, it can be presumed that the previous Alitalia network out of Malpensa attracted a fair share of passengers from the Turin catchment area. As reported in this week’s route launches, Alitalia is, however, now launching four new, international routes from Turin. Istanbul Atatürk twice weekly, Amsterdam four times weekly and Berlin Tegel twice weekly will be followed by Moscow Sheremetyevo twice weekly, starting 19 December.
|If you are not a British reader, look away. To 99% of Brits, Turin is synonymous with the 1969 movie, “The Italian Job” starring Michael Caine. The film explains better than any boring political work why the UK is such a reluctant member of the EU. It is relevant to this article merely because some scenes are filmed at the airport, and because it underlines the importance of the car industry to this great city. Caine’s best xenophobic line is: “And remember: In this country they drive on the wrong side of the road.”|