In recent years, low-cost airlines held the larger share of the domestic flight market, while full service airlines held the larger share of international and long distance flights. In fact, low cost companies such as the Irish Ryanair carried the highest number of passengers in Italy overall, reaching approximately 38 million of passengers in 2018, followed by Alitalia with 22 million passengers and Easyjet with 18 million passengers.
As of 2015, 37 airports distributed within the country facilitated the discovery of the “Bel paese” and of its charming cities. The North of Italy has the highest number of airports, followed by the South and Central Italy. The airport of Rome Fiumicino confirmed its role as the main hub with more than 38 million passengers in 2017, followed by the airports of Milan Malpensa and Milan Bergamo Orio al Serio with 20.5 million and 11 million passengers respectively. In addition, minor airports such as Catania and Venice are also showing positive trends in terms of passenger numbers.
As the summer season approaches, the number of passengers traveling to Italy tends to increase, in particular to islands such as Sicily and Sardinia. Sicily is the Italian region with the highest number of airports, followed by Lombardy and Apulia, both with four airports.
In terms of air cargo, there is a positive trend in the amount of air freight handled in Italian airports, which grew from approximately one million tons in 2016 to 1.1 million tons in 2017. The airport of Milano Malpensa is leading national and international traffic of freight and mail in Italy, followed by the airports of Rome Fiumicino and Venezia Tessera.