Economic sustainability

SEA Group strategy is pursued through a partition of activities in business units, each characterized by specific expertise and operational processes to maximize the Group operational efficiency.

Air transport offer

In 2018, the Milan metropolitan area ranked eighth in Europe (it was ninth in 2017) for the overall level of air transport available, with 45.4 billion ASKs (Available Seat Kilometers) offered annually (+3 billion on 2017). ASKs correspond to the total seats available on each flight, multiplied by the number of kilometers flown: a measure of an airport’s capacity in terms of passenger transport supply. The overall airport system – inclusive of Malpensa, Linate and Orio al Serio – offered 28.7 million seats.

Air transport supply in the Milan metropolitan area

Malpensa airport ranked sixth in Europe (after London Heathrow, Paris CDG, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Zurich, and joint with Rome) in terms of the weight of ASKs relating to non-EU destinations out of the total ASKs offered. Destinations lying outside Europe accounted for 71.8% of Malpensa’s weighted offerings.

Malpensa is one of the few European airports with a high level of non-EU ASKs that is not also a hub. This may also be explained by the fact that Malpensa offers a high level of medium-/long-haul destinations, despite lacking a feeder flight network, instead relying primarily on point-of-origin demand for air transport to international destinations.

Direct competition

The degree of dependence of the airports on the different airlines can be evaluated using the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI), which reaches a value of 11 thousand if the airport offer is entirely in the hands of one company.

Malpensa is thus the European airport with the lowest level of dependence on a single carrier, with easyJet, the first airline in terms of Available Seat Kilometres (ASK), having a share of just 12.0%. This is an extremely positive result in comparison with other continental airports, such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Zurich, Paris and Monaco, where the first airline has shares in excess of 50% of the ASK volume on offer. Linate, however, shows a higher concentration of traffic compared to Malpensa, due to the significant presence of Alitalia, which manages 61.9% (significantly up from 56.8% in 2017) of the overall share of ASK. In Italy, the airport where the largest share of ASKs held by a single carrier is Bergamo: approximately 78.1% of supply is attributable to Ryanair.

Direct competition development at Milan Malpensa

Direct competition development at Milan Linate

Direct competition is measured also by another indicator called the entropy (H) index, which calculates (also in terms of ASK or seats) if the share of the airport offer is equally divided between all airlines present. Therefore, low index values indicate situations in which the traffic offer of a particular airport is highly concentrated. Also according to this index, Malpensa airport was the absolute leader in Europe with regard to the lowest dependence on an individual airline.

Indirect competition

The level of indirect competition refers to each route offered by a specific airport for which alternative routes are offered by other airports close to that considered, for neighbouring destinations or on similar routes.

Indirect competition at Malpensa

The “proximity” concept relating to departing airports and destination airports concerns those located within 110km. The exposure of an airport to indirect competition is one of the elements taken into account when considering whether an airport is a natural monopoly.

Within Europe, the London area contains a high number of active airports, therefore in indirect competition. Nearly all departing European routes from Gatwick or Heathrow have indirect alternatives. Indirect competition is significant also in the Lombardy region close to Milan. From Malpensa, approximately 96.5% of routes to European destinations are subject to competition from other airports in the area, such as Linate and Orio al Serio.

Malpensa airport placed fourth, after the London airports of Gatwick and Heathrow and Paris Orly, in terms of intensity of indirect competition. The ratio between the alternative offer volume of the competing regional airports (including Linate) and the offer of the airport concerning the routes subject to competition is greater than one.