Milan’s Linate Airport Closing For Three Months In 2019

Filed Under: Alitalia

The city of Milan has two airports — Malpensa and Linate. Malpensa is the larger airport, with all longhaul flights departing from there, though it’s also quite a distance from the city. Meanwhile Linate Airport is smaller, and handles a lot of regional flights, and it’s also much closer to the city. So if visiting Milan, Linate is often the preferred airport for people, given its proximity to the city.

The Duomo in Milan

Well, if you’re traveling to Milan next summer or fall, it’s worth noting that Milan’s Linate Airport will be closing for a period of three months, from July 27 through October 27, 2019.

This closure is taking place because the airport’s only runway is being renovated, so during that work it’s not possible for flights to operate to and from the airport. Furthermore, construction will be done on the terminal, though that’s a bigger project that will be done in stages and that will take several years.

Linate Airport serves almost 10 million passengers per year, so my assumption is that at least 2.5 million prospective passengers would be impacted by this (the airport is closed for a quarter of the year, and that also happens to overlap with the busy summer travel period).

During this closure all flights will be moved to Milan’s Malpensa Airport, though I’d imagine this will also lead to some cancelations due to redundant flight frequencies, as they should be able to consolidate some flights.

I question how much Malpensa Airport is able to handle more traffic. I feel like every time I’m there the terminals are already overrun, so this will make it even worse. As a point of comparison, Malpensa handles a bit over double as much passengers as Linate.

Malpensa Airport

While Alitalia is the primary carrier out of Linate Airport (with flights to a few dozen short-haul destinations), other major airlines fly to Linate as well, including Air France, British Airways, EasyJet, Lufthansa, and more.

EasyJet is one of the largest airlines at Linate Airport

So if you’re traveling to or through Milan next summer, that explains why you won’t find any flights to Linate. Furthermore, you’ll want to leave extra time for security at Malpensa Airport during this period, since the airport will likely have more traffic than it can handle.

I guess one easy solution to deal with the traffic problem would be for Alitalia just to go out of business already, though that doesn’t seem like it’ll happen anytime soon.

(Tip of the hat to Airways)

  1. I have a love/hate affair with LIN.
    I remember excitedly calling my family in the US that the sky is blue and we should leave LIN ontime so that for once I would not miss my evening Swissair flight to EWR. A few minutes later I realized something was wrong and the inbound swissair flight was not arriving. I fell victim to the hole in runway situation.
    One thing that is important to remember, the authorities want to eliminate LIN but the people, especially business travelers love LIN and hate MXP because of the distance.

  2. What a disaster!!!! I fly trhough LIN every summer and that is much nicer and easier than MXP. I wonder why they will close it in the middle of summer when everyone uses the airport to connect somewhere else in Italy.

  3. @Dan: Bergamo is technically not in Milan and isn’t even part of its official name – this is something low-cost airlines particularly Ryanair coined as it is near enough to Milan to serve it some copacity…

  4. I just called Air France.. they said they won’t do anything at this point. So what are my rights ?

  5. @ Bennett. It’s not the airlines’ fault the airport is closing Malpensa is still
    Milan although far further away
    So assume you no longer want to travel to Milan ?

  6. @ Bennett. Correct. It’s not the airlines’ fault linate is closing and malpensa is still Milan. What did you expect them to say? If you are still travelling to Milan then you have no choice here

    On that note Malpensa will be looking at around 28000 more passengers a day
    So I hope the authorities have laid on extra capacity in terms of public transport etc

  7. Yes, lets hope that a company employing 12.000 people and serves as a major part of Italian infrastructure just goes bankrupt.

  8. @keitherson If you think Paris Beauvais is bad, try ‘Paris’ Vatry. Closer to Belgium than Paris, and serves a grand total of two flights a week, courtesy of Ryanair, but still some how marketed as Paris. It’s a bit like marketing RTM as ‘Brussels North’ or BHX as ‘London Midlands’

  9. It was my understanding MXP still has a lot of slack in the terminals – remember it was the de facto hub for Alitalia in the late 90s / early 2000s after it was expanded. So while the gates you see may be busy, there may be others that are quite empty at that time.

  10. @vlcnc @Keitherson

    You both know that Bergamo is actually closer to central Milan than MXP! MXP is about 50kms away while BGY is 45kms away. BGY is also the 3rd busiest airport in Italy after FCO & MXP with about 12mil pax per year.
    What MXP boosts is a better connection to central Milan.

    You really can’t compare it to sth like Stewart or Frankfurt Hahn.

  11. you have a caption for Easy Jet being a major user of Linate…actuallly they have only 4 or 5 flights a day from Linate, they use MXP airport Terminal 2 to be exact. Alitalia is the major use of Linate..all flights going to people arriving at MXP have to go to Linate for a flight to Rome

  12. I’d like to chime in as I am a frequent user of MXP for work related purposes and because for Swiss users it sometimes provides incredible deals for ZRH, ie. Swiss based travellers.

    First of all, authorities, namely SEA owned by the Region (ie. Government), doesn’t want to close Linate at all, actually Linate is supposed to have only flights to EU capital cities (Bersani Law, 2000) but of course the Regional Council allows companies, first of all Alitalia, to ignore this.

    It is true that businessmen out of Milan like the choice, I would do so myself, but there is a smear campaign against Malpensa that shows the MXP choice as being on another planet. For instance a recent Alitalia advertisement stated that it took nearly two hours from Milan to Malpensa, which is blatantly untrue. That is like saying that Heathrow is far away if someone first has to cross the entire city at rush hour with an Uber that lost his way…

    Malpensa is an under-utilised airport. As some point Lufthansa was even willing to finance and use an entire terminal to create their third airport after FRA and MUC. The problem was that this would have put too much pressure on Linate to close, since apart from seasoned travellers, all other residents of the city of Milan have long battled to try and shut it down as it is noisy.

    Apart from people in Milan wanting to have a choice, the main reason for Milan-Rome flights to even exist are mostly politicians. The same way that on a Friday afternoon in Bruxelles you only see government people on their leave. Nothing bad per se’, but since the only real efficient train connection (btw. faster than the plane on that route) is not government owned and there is the need to keep Alitalia alive even though blatantly bankrupt, I allow myself to see this as stupid.

    Finally, LIN is nothing else but a political game and of course until LIN exists and MXP is kept as a “countryside” choice, then the problems will persist. I therefore look forward to its closure.

  13. Part 2.

    If you further look at the reality. MXP is such a good choice that Easyjet manages and entire terminal there, which is also displayed by their ad-hoc security area where people are required to adhere to Easyjet rules regarding carry-on baggage. It is for all intents and purposes like a private Terminal for Easyjet. Granted, not luxurious, but a good choice.

    BGY by the way, because it has been ignored in the Anti-MXP campaign (although Bergamo is part of the Region Lombardia that partly owns SEA which manages LIN/MXP), it has great growth and the situation on the spot is similar to Terminal 2 (Easyjet) in Malpensa. So there seems to be a quite clear “vote by feet” from the non-govt and non-deluxe travellers.

    To sum off my points and taking an example of London. Imagine LCY airport (London City) which would have a large runway and flights to all of Europe. Of course, due to the sheer size of the London Greater Area, LHR-here the equivalent of MXP- would still exist, but the choice would be much smaller. In Italy, where there is less critical mass, the artificial -and illegal- overuse of LIN is the main driver for a campaign that is nothing else but an Alitalia bailout.

  14. I am booked in the summer of 2019 from Palermo to Paris on Alitalia and AF. Well, Alitalia just canceled 90% of the flights into Linate so of course they didn’t tell me I just checked on the website. It would’ve been nice if they reached out to me and said that they canceled my flight instead of moving me to a flight a day before. Please be warned the other airlines haven’t caught up yet nd are still selling tickets when Linate will be closed.

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