SEA Milan attends Asian route development conference in Cebu, Philippines to attract more routes to and from the region.
CEBU, Philippines, 2019-Mar-12 — /Travel PR News/ — “Asia and Australia are key growth regions for Milan,” confides Andrea Tucci, VP Aviation Business Development at SEA, Linate and Malpensa airports operator. “In 2018, we registered 1.2 million direct Asian passengers [+11%], but there is a total O&D annual demand of 3.3 million [+13%] passengers to this region, so we are only catering for around one-third [36%] of our potential Asian traffic.” While Tucci, who is in Cebu this week, is happy that SEA’s indirect services act as ‘pioneer’ flights helping to build up economic and tourism relations to the region, he is keen for more direct routes. “We are working on some interesting projects which will boost the economic exchanges between Asia and Milan, always with an eye on emerging markets, that are in some cases being tested by leisure services. The new connectivity opportunities offered by Air Italy’s domestic network also adds value for potential Asian carriers.”
When considering Milan’s top 10 Asian country markets, all have grown in 2018 from 2017 levels, however eight of them increased their respective total direct and indirect traffic by double-digit rates. While China (+14%) and Maldives (+32%), which both already have direct services from Milan, have shown some sparkling annual growth, it is perhaps the Philippines market that is of the most interest given this week’s event, as it is currently unserved but has increased by 14% annually. Other noteworthy traffic development outside Milan’s top 10 have come from country markets like Bangladesh (+38%), Vietnam (+29%), Singapore (+26%) and New Zealand (+23%). Given these impressive traffic hikes it should be no surprise to see destinations like Guangzhou, Chengdu, Manila and Ho Chi Minh City/Hanoi close to the top of Tucci’s to-do list, in terms of wanted Asian services. “We are also at Routes Asia to secure services to places like Tokyo Haneda, Taipei and Mumbai.”
In terms of accessing ethnic demand for travel, Northern Italy can not be beaten, as it commands 53% of the country’s overseas communities. “Lombardy is home to some significant Asian diaspora, with nearly 70,000 Chinese, 60,000 Filipinos and 50,000 Indians in the region. These figures are higher than any other region in Italy,” adds Tucci. “We also have a disconnect between the demand and capacity to China. Milan has 8% more O&D passengers than Rome, yet it has 30% less annual seats. I am here in the Philippines to reset the balance!”
Milan’s airports and the Lombardy region will host World Routes in 2020, so SEA is busy upgrading its infrastructure ready for when the world’s network planners descend into Italy. “Over the next year or so, both Terminals 1 and 2 will be upgraded, and we will also welcome some enhancements to our cargo infrastructure,” concludes Tucci.