Airports: 23 open, but Linate remains closed. Sea optimizes flights on Malpensa


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A decree by Minister De Micheli reopens Alghero and Brindisi, in addition to the airports already in operation. Limitations for Sardinia until June 12th

by Gianni Dragoni

Here is the air we breathe on planes

A decree by Minister De Micheli reopens Alghero and Brindisi, in addition to the airports already in operation. Limitations for Sardinia until June 12th

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From today 23 Italian airports are open, two more than those which were already operational. Alghero and Brindisi are added to the list of ports in operation, while Milan Linate remains closed. In Milan flights are concentrated on Malpensa. Fiumicino and Ciampino are operating in Rome. This is foreseen by a decree of the Minister of Transport, Paola De Micheli. Limitations for Sardinia: until 12 June only flights and maritime connections “in territorial continuity”.

The list of 23 airports

The decree replaces the previous one of May 17th, which was valid until June 2nd. From today, according to the new decree, which is valid until June 14, “in order to avoid the spread of the epidemiological emergency from COVID-19” for air transport, “taking into account the requests received from airport managers, the geographical location of airports capable of serving catchment areas in a uniform way on the territory and of their infrastructural capacity, as well as of the need to guarantee island connections, the operation of services is limited to the airports of Alghero, Ancona, Bari, Bergamo-Orio al Serio, Bologna, Brindisi, Cagliari, Catania, Florence-Peretola, Genoa, Lamezia Terme, Lampedusa, Milan Malpensa, Naples Capodichino, Olbia, Palermo, Pantelleria, Pescara, Pisa, Rome Ciampino, Rome Fiumicino, Turin, and Venice Tessera ยป.

The closure of Linate

General aviation activities are permitted at commercial airports not included in this list, i.e. flights with private planes. Linate, the most convenient city airport to reach from the Lombard capital, is closed in Milan. The decree does not explain the reason. But already the decree of 17 May that kept Linate closed referred to the “observations made by the airport management company – Sea Spa”. Due to the scarce traffic, the Sea preferred to concentrate the flights on only one airport to keep costs down and chose Malpensa. Much will depend on the decisions of the companies in terms of traffic volumes for the opening of Linate.

At Malpensa, flights to Terminal 2

The airport in the province of Varese is more suitable for large aircraft flights, the Airbus 330 and Boeing 777 wide bodies used for intercontinental flights. But in this period Alitalia also uses these planes for flights in Europe and in Italy, to load more passengers, since with the rules on distancing not all seats can be occupied. These constraints have been softened by ENAC, which no longer requires the minimum of a mandatory meter of distance, just keeping an empty seat in the middle in rows of three, but for the comapgnie it is still not enough to guarantee the cost-effectiveness of the operations. To optimize operations, all passenger flights to Malpensa are on Terminal 2, the oldest, usually used by low cost easyJet.

Fiumicino and Ciampino open

In Rome both airports managed by AdR are open, both Fiumicino and Ciampino, which is used by low cost airlines. Among the most important airports Verona and Reggio Calabria remain closed. Assaeroporti, the association of national airports, reported that from March to May all Italian airports lost 45 million passengers compared to the same period last year. Managers complain about the lack of government measures to compensate for the damage suffered by the coronavirus.

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