While the aviation sector has been one of the worst-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Milan Bergamo Airport has been working hard with its stakeholders to advance and improve its service and product offering, particularly important at a time when passenger travel habits have changed considerably in previous months.
“We have noticed that domestic travel has become an even more important market as people look to discover their own nation as a result of continuous border control changes imposed by governments,” comments Giacomo Cattaneo, Director Commercial Aviation, SACBO. “As a result, and in response to demand, Ryanair has added additional frequencies on its routes to Bari, Catania, Naples and Palermo from the start of October. Collectively, this extra capacity will result in 12 further departures per week to these four destinations.”
Passengers have started to return to Milan Bergamo. “At the peak of the virus in Europe in April, we had close to zero passengers, and in June we saw only 3% of the passengers that we handled during the same month of 2019. However, in July the airport transported 24% of the passengers we handled last year, while the outlook for August was even more positive as we tried to return to the levels of traffic seen before,” informs Cattaneo. “This shows that the appetite to fly from Milan Bergamo is coming back, and we continue to remain optimistic as we work with our airline partners to restore services.”
Among the most recent highlights, along with Ryanair’s domestic growth, is that Volotea will continue to operate its summer-only route to Olbia with some frequencies into parts of the winter season for the first time, while Pegasus Airlines has increased its Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen frequency to five times weekly, improving connectivity to Turkey’s largest city and beyond.
As traffic returns, works continue to increase capacity and improve the passenger experience. “Despite the economic impact of COVID-19, the airport is continuing to invest in infrastructure and work is in progress to complete our new extra-Schengen arrivals area which is due for completion by the end of October,” enthuses Cattaneo. Alongside the infrastructure development, an extension to the west of the existing terminal is picking up pace which, when it is completed in August 2021, will be a new Schengen departure area with additional gates on the upper floor, plus an extension of the Schenger arrivals area with more baggage carousels on the lower floor.
The airport has also noticed that its premium products are witnessing strong activity as passengers become more conscious and aware of personal space. With more interest in fast-track security and premium lounges, Milan Bergamo’s passengers are realising the airport’s ability in having the products and capacity to allow them to pass through safely and efficiently. Interest is picking up also for BGY TOP, the meet and greet service tailor made by Milan Bergamo Airport to pamper passengers wishing to have a fully dedicated service, whether departing or arriving.