Alitalia might be pulling out Milan Malpensa Airport as soon as October 1st. After more than 70 years of history, the Italian flag carrier is opting to end services from Malpensa and continue flight to Milan Linate instead. The suspension of international flights and Alitalia’s struggling finances likely pushed it to use Rome Fiumicino as it’s only international hub.
Milan is home to three airports, of which Malpensa (MXP) serves as the primary international airport. Malpensa is used for intercontinental flights by major carriers such as ANA, Delta, and American, as well as for EU flights. The airport also served as a major hub for Alitalia for international flights and domestic connections to Rome.
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This year’s pandemic had already seen Alitalia temporarily suspend operations from Malpensa. Due to travel restrictions in March, the airline had to cancel both of its international flights from the airport to New York and Tokyo.
When operations did resume from Malpensa, the airline was only flying a four-times-daily domestic hop between Rome and Milan. Alitalia international flights from Malpensa have not resumed, and if reports are accurate, they may not again.
Goodbye to Malpensa
First reported in Il Giornale, Alitalia is pulling out Malpensa effective from October 1st, consolidating operations at Linate instead. The exit has come as a shock to many, mainly due to the airline’s long history of serving the airport and seeing through its major expansion in the last three decades.
An exit from Malpensa means that Alitalia is dropping its two international flights from the airport and consolidating international operations to Rome Fiumicino. The Rome-MXP route was primarily a domestic connection for those on the international flights, explaining why it’s being axed too. This effectively means that Alitalia is eliminating it’s second international hub as it refocuses operations.
According to Routesonline, Alitalia has closed bookings from Milan Malpensa on all routes until 27th March 2021. Flights are available for booking beyond this date. The last flight between Malpensa and Rome is likely on 30th September, a sad end to a long history of operations. However, Alitalia is yet to confirm the move, and we could well see flights resume after a long hiatus.
The new Alitalia
The Italian flag carrier has struggled financially for years, existing in a state of near-bankruptcy. While many expected the airline to collapse this year (which it did), this time it happened for extraordinary reasons. The severe outbreak of COVID-19 in Italy in late February resulted in Alitalia canceling nearly all of its flights and saw the government take over the airline.
The carrier is now in the process of downsizing, axing planes, staff, and routes, as it hopes to survive the pandemic. Milan Malpensa seems to be one of the casualties of the ‘new Alitalia‘ as the airline hopes for a more profitable future.
What do you think about Alitalia’s potential plans? Are you sad to see them leave Malpensa? Let us know in the comments below.