Malpensa Terminal 1 to reopen: it was the first in Europe to close for Covid


June 12, 2020 / Milan Malpensa (MXP) airport will move flights from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 on June 15. The facility was one of the first in Europe to close entirely in March following the lockdown imposed by the Italian Government in response to the Covid pandemic. The airport’s catchment area of Milan and Lombardy had been one of the hardest-hit by the virus, forcing extraordinary measures adopted by the Italian government to forbid any movement of population from that area to the rest of the Country and to other Countries.

Following the introduction of the lockdown on March 8, air traffic had reduced dramatically in the Milan area, forcing the closure of Linate (LIN) airport and the stop of all activities at Malpensa larger Terminal 1. Since March 16 all remaining operations had been transferred to the smaller Terminal 2, normally used by low-cost carrier easyjet. Traffic numbers showed a plunge in passenger traffic of around 99.5%, with an average of around 500 travellers per day passing through Malpensa in the month of April.

Lockdown measures have been eased in Italy starting from June 3 and air traffic gradually, though very slowly, grew again. Data produced by SEA-Milan Airports indicated some 3,000 passengers at MXP in the week from April 6 to April 12, compared to 22,396 passengers in the week June 1-7.

Those numbers made it unsafe to continue operations at T2, given its limited spaces and the measures adopted to guarantee social distancing within the terminal. So, it was decided to reopen the much larger Terminal 1. In the third week of June, some 20 airlines will use the facility, including Alitalia (AZ), Neos (NO), Lufthansa (LH), British Airways (BA), Air France (AF), KLM (KL), Etihad Airways (EY), Emirates Airlines (EK), Qatar Airways (QR) and Ethiopian Airlines (ET). Around 80-100 total daily movements are expected, depending on the week day. Total numbers at Milan airports are expected to increase considerably from July 1, the day on which Linate operations are scheduled to restart. (Photo Matteo Legnani)

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