New reports indicate that Milan’s Malpensa airport saw strong air cargo growth in early 2017, and this momentum is only set to pick up further throughout the rest of the year. Ignazio Coraci comments.
Base of operations
Malpensa is the most strategically placed airport in Southern Europe. It is located in Lombardy, which is the richest region in Italy and a key driver of its economy, providing a multitude of opportunities for air cargo firms. Malpensa is also the only Southern-European hub to be ranked among the top 10 European cargo airports, making it very attractive for carriers who wish to serve this profitable market.
Malpensa airport also serves as our base of operations here at SW Italia. From Malpensa, we provide all-cargo services around the world, flying to far-flung destinations such as Azerbaijan, China and the US. We have quickly established ourselves as one of Italy’s leading all-cargo services, partly due to this advantageous location, and we are now expanding our fleet, to grow our company further.
There is a lot of potential to be found at Malpensa airport. Figures quoted by Air Cargo Week, an industry publication, suggest that for the past three years, the amount of air freight which passed through Malpensa grew at an average of 8%. But Malpensa’s air freight volumes expanded by a staggering 13% in the opening two months of 2017, showing that business is booming at the airport.
Meanwhile, this data suggests that in 2016, Malpensa’s air freight volumes rose by 7.4%. The airport’s air cargo volumes kept rising in early 2017 due to a stable economy, robust imports and exports and recovering road feeder service volumes. Experts believe that these same factors will ensure that Malpensa’s air freight volumes keep growing during the rest of the year, benefitting air cargo firms.
There are various factors, which have attributed to the recent growth of Malpensa’s air freight numbers. The airport has long-been as a hub for the transport of goods such as pharmaceuticals, clothes, machinery, sports cars and perishables e.g. wine. Some of these, most notably pharmaceuticals, are seeing rapid growth, and coupled with the rising number of both small and heavy packages that are being transported from the hub, this is helping grow Malpensa’s air cargo volumes.
We should also not that Asia and the US – which is set to see robust air cargo growth long-term, account for over 70% of exports from Milan. Due to the recovery of import flows and increasing capacity of both direct and indirect services, the US market was a practically prominent driver of Malpensa’s growth in 2016. Meanwhile, Malpensa-based carriers are increasingly targeting new markets, such as South America, and this could boost the airport’s fortunes further going forward.
It is particularly interesting to note that Italy is only set to experience modest economic growth over the next few years, as it is not viewed by foreign companies as an easy place to do business. However in spite of this, Malpensa airport is expected to post further air cargo increases, in part because e-rising commerce is creating a climbing, constant stream of traffic for couriers based at the airport.
Commenting on these figures, Ignazio said: “Our location has allowed us to turn SW Italia into one of Italy’s leading all-cargo services. As Malpensa airport fulfils its potential and sees its air cargo volumes expand further in 2017, there will be new opportunities for us to capitalise on, allowing SW Italia to grow its operations and launch services to new markets, so we can thrive going forward.”