Italian airport traffic up 9.3% so far in 2011; Ryanair (and Libyan conflict) help Palermo grow 17%; Rimini up 78%
In the first five months of 2011 Italy’s airports have reported overall traffic growth of 9.3% to 54.74 million passengers. Domestic passenger numbers through the country’s airports have risen by 8.3% to 23.66 million, while international passenger numbers are up 10.4% to 30.78 million. Clearly these figures are influenced somewhat by last April’s volcanic ash incident which resulted in traffic this April being up 19.6%, but year-on-year traffic was also up in January (10.7%), February (+4.7%), March (+5.7%) and May (+5.6%). Among Italy’s biggest airports the fastest-growing between January and May have been Palermo (+17.4%), Pisa (+15.8%) and Bologna (+15.3%).
Palermo benefits from new Lufthansa and Ryanair services
Although not a Ryanair base, the Irish carrier has developed its presence at the airport significantly since the end of last summer, increasing its network from just two domestic routes (Milan Bergamo, Pisa) to 11. Since the end of October it has launched nine routes at the airport (three domestic and six international) which are summarised in the table below. Seasonal London Stansted services have also been re-started.
|Airline||New route from Palermo (WF when started, start date)|
|Lufthansa||Frankfurt (2, 27 Mar 11), Munich (1, 2 Apr 11)|
|Ryanair (domestic)||Bologna (7, 31 Oct 10), Venice Treviso (7, 31 Oct 10), Verona (7, 1 Nov 10)|
|Ryanair (international)||Marseille (2, 3 Nov 10), Oslo Rygge (2, 28 Mar 11), Reus (2, 15 Apr 11), Seville (2, 3 Nov 10), Tenerife Sur (2, 16 Feb 11), Weeze (3, 7 May 11)|
|Wind Jet||Rimini (7, 27 Mar 11)|
|Source: anna.aero new route database
WF: Weekly Frequency
When anna.aero interrogated the Ryanair booking tool earlier in the week for flights from Palermo the following additional ‘routes’ were also listed and displayed on the airline’s route map; Bari, Girona, Madrid, Pescara, Rome Ciampino and Stockholm Skavsta. However, this is a legacy of when flights were diverted from Trapani when the airport was being used by NATO for its operations in Libya.
Palermo has also succeeded in attracting new seasonal Lufthansa services from Frankfurt and Munich. Maybe surprisingly Lufthansa’s low-cost subsidiary germanwings does not serve the airport. However, airberlin does fly from Cologne/Bonn, Munich and Stuttgart in Germany as well as Zurich in Switzerland.
For the last 18 months Italian airport traffic growth has typically averaged between 6% and 9%, with the exception of the last two Aprils.
Rimini traffic up almost 80%
Among smaller airports the fastest-growing in the first five months of 2011 have been Rimini (+79.2%), Perugia (+64.7%), Cuneo (+40.0%), Brindisi (+38.3%), Ancona (+32.4%), Trieste (+28.8%) and Venice Treviso (+28.6%). Last year’s fastest-growing airport at Trapani has seen traffic grow modestly by just 1.6% so far this year. Venice Treviso’s traffic will take a hit in June, July and August as all flights will be redirected to Venice Marco Polo, while runway maintenance work is carried out.
Airports faring less well in 2011 are Brescia (-78.2%), Forli (-20.7%) and Parma (-4.5%).