Milan’s Linate Airport Temporarily Shuts Down, Flights Relocated to Malpensa

Aircraft at Milan's Linate Airport (Photo: Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)])

The city of Milan this weekend will lose one of its airports for the next three months. Airport “Enrico Forlanini” in Milan-Linate will suspend all commercial operation in the evening of Friday, July 26, when flight AZ1771 to Palermo, Sicily, scheduled to depart at 10.25 p.m., will be the last planned flight to leave the airport.

Private or military flights will be able to operate until 6.59 a.m. on the following morning, but Linate will shut down until October 27 when it will re-open after the re-surfacing of the runway and some restyling of the terminal.

Linate Airport is the preferred airport for business traffic due to its proximity to the city center; the terminal is located only 9 km (six miles) East of Milan’s city center. and can be reached in less than 30 minutes from the main business district. The length of its single runway does not allow for long-haul flights, which need to depart from Malpensa Airport, the biggest airport in the Milan area, which is located more than 50 km (31 miles) northwest of the city center.

Linate will have its interiors re-designed; the baggage handling system will be replaced and e-gates will be introduced for departures and arrival immigration checks in order to speed up passenger processing. The project is due to be completed in 2021, therefore upgrades will continue even after the airport reopens in late October.

By December 2022 Linate Airport will be connected to Milan’s underground system with the extension of the yet-to-be-opened M4 line that will run between the airport and San Babila station on the M1 line.

The airport capacity is capped at 18 movements per hour and is dedicated to serving destinations within the European Union. According to Italian Assaeroporti, Linate Airport served 9,233,475 passengers in 2018, while the other airport, Malpensa, is the second busiest airport in the country and it handled 24,725,490 passengers in 2018.

Both airports are controlled by the same publicly-owned holding, SEA Aeroporti Milano, while the same metropolitan area is also served by Aeroporto Caravaggio in Bergamo-Orio al Serio, controlled by SACBO, located 45 km (28 miles) northeast of Milan, and mainly served by low-cost airlines. Bergamo-Orio al Serio is the third busiest airport in Italy with 12,938,572 passengers in 2018.

During Linate’s closure, the vast majority of flights will be temporarily moved to Malpensa, which for the occasion has created an extra check-in island in its departure lounge, has increased the number of security checkpoints and the number of gates. Bus connections from the city to the airport will be intensified and all trains to Malpensa will double the number of carriages. Furthermore, the airport will refund the motorway toll to all those who will drive to the airport and use the official airport parking and will launch a special flat-fare shared taxi service to help those needing to travel to the airport

Vanni Gibertini

Vanni fell in love with commercial aviation during his undergraduate studies in Statistics at the University of Bologna, when he prepared his thesis on the effects of deregulation on the U.S. and European aviation markets. Then he pursued his passion further by obtaining a Master’s Degree in Air Transport Management at Cranfield University in the U.K. followed by holding several management positions at various start-up carriers in Europe (Jet2, SkyEurope, Silverjet). After moving to Canada, he was Business Development Manager for IATA for nine years before turning to his other passion: sports writing.
Vanni Gibertini