Moves to fill the gap at Milan Malpensa since the scaling back of Alitalia's operation at the airport continue apace with February's launch of Lufthansa Italia flights and further development from easyJet and cargo operators.
Lufthansa Italia has launched flights from Malpensa to Barcelona and Paris and will add six more routes by the end of March. "We do not exclude further services at a later stage, but we will most probably go through the summer with six aircraft and then evaluate," says Lufthansa executive vice-president for services, Karl Ulrich Garnadt.
© Lufthansa Italia
It hopes to build more momentum through co-operation with other Star Alliance partners at the airport. "I think the fact Lufthansa has started Malpensa operations will increase the attractiveness of the airport for other Star Alliance partners and we will see new services here," says Garnadt.
EasyJet, which launched its Malpensa base in 2006, is adding routes this summer, while Italy's Eurofly has applied for a number of new routes at Malpensa. The merged Air One-Alitalia operates from Milan Linate and Malpensa, predominantly serving points in western Europe from the former and to the east from the latter.
Meanwhile Luxembourg's Cargolux and an undisclosed partner plan to start a Malpensa-based freight operation, Cargolux Italia, in April. Lufthansa Cargo in February launches new freight flights to New York and Chicago from the airport, while late last year cargo start-up Alis Aerolinee Italiane acquired Malpensa-based Cargoitalia. Alis has also submitted an offer for the cargo division of the old Alitalia.