The preliminary authorisations show that the Irish company intends to fly to Brussels and Berlin, the Hungarian one to Catania.
The assignment – for the first time – of some temporary slots at Linate airport to the two main European low-cost companies gives a first idea of the strategies of these airlines at the city airport. Ryanair intends to connect Milan with Brussels and Berlin. And Wizz Air wants to launch up to three flights a day to Catania, where it also has one of its Italian bases.
The new European rule
The re-assignment of slots in an airport such as Linate is the result of the new European rule during the pandemic: airlines were asked to vacate for the 2021 summer season (28 March-30 October) half of the slots they are not planning to use due to declining traffic. That package was then submitted to airlines, among which Ryanair and Wizz Air, following a waiting list.
These new routes are not yet for sale. They could also change. And Ryanair and Wizz Air could actually refrain from flying them since they may not be economically convenient due to any low demand on that route
Ryanair was granted take-off and landing rights at Linate in June, September and October (so no space in July and August). On 1 June, the Irish carrier – which is the first in Italy for passengers transported and already flies to Malpensa and Bergamo – plans to take off at 10:20 from the Milanese city airport to Berlin. On 2 June, the flight is to Brussels (at 20:10), alternating destinations during the week. Except for Sunday where both flights are scheduled.
Wizz Air’s strategy is different and seems to want to optimise the national market by focusing on Sicily. In June there are three daily flights from Linate to Catania (at 10:35, 14:35 and 18:55), one on Saturday and two on Sunday. No activity is planned for the following month. In August, flights are virtually scheduled only on Saturdays (again for Catania), in September and October, a calendar similar to June returns.
The other airlines
The re-assignment of the slots released for the summer also brings other news in addition to those of easyJet to Catania and Palermo. There is the direct Linate-Munich flight with Air Dolomiti, as well as the connections of Austrian Airlines to Vienna and Salzburg. There is Blu Panorama which would like to fly to Reggio Calabria, the newborn Ego Airways which plans routes to Lampedusa, Pantelleria, Mykonos and Ibiza, and the Greek Lumiwings which in theory could operate Linate-Lampedusa. Again, all to be confirmed and put on sale.
Source: Corriere della Sera