This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
About 80.7 million passengers transited Italian airports in 2021, 52.4% more than in 2020, but still well below the 192 million passenger recorded in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. Rome Fiumicino registered 11.7 million passengers and Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate registered about 9.6 million and 4.3 million, respectively. Historically, Italian airports with the greatest passenger movement have included Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa, Bergamo, Venice, Naples, and Catania. As of June 2022, travelers no longer need to show the Green Pass COVID-19 certificate to enter the country.
The cargo sector also grew in 2021, with a total of 1,088,779 tons handled, of which 747,242 tons transited the Milan Malpensa airport (up 44.6%). Italian airports with the most significant freight traffic include Milan Malpensa, Rome Fiumicino, and Bergamo. The FedEx and Amazon European logistics hubs in Italy (Malpensa Cargo City and in the province of Bergamo), validate the significance of Italian airport networks.
The Italian airline market is fragmented, featuring both full-service and low-cost carriers. Last year, Italy’s flagship carrier Alitalia (Alitalia SAI S.p.A.) ceased operations and was replaced (on October 15, 2021) by a new, smaller company called Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA), fully owned by the Government of Italy via the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF). ITA began with a fleet less than half the size of Alitalia’s. The new carrier plans to serve 45 destinations (including 21 in Italy) with 61 routes, growing to 74 destinations and 89 routes by 2025. The government is (November 2022) in negotiations to sell a majority stake in the airline. Other Italian-owned charter airlines and low-cost carriers include Mistral Air, Blue Panorama, Easy Jet, Ryanair, Air Dolomiti, Air Italy (formerly Meridiana), and TUIfly.
An EU Regulation in 2011 established the mandatory upgrade of hold-baggage screening equipment to standard 3 explosive detection systems (EDS) by September 1, 2020. Several Italian airports, including Verona, Ancona Catania, Reggio Calabria, and Lamezia Terme, are still not compliant. Other equipment with market potential includes anti-intrusion systems, automated baggage handling systems (BHS), approach surveillance radars, and a broad range of services related to airport and ground-handling operations. For passengers and hand luggage, airports are adopting the latest technologies in hand and window metal detectors (HMD and WMD), explosives trace detectors (ETD), and liquid explosive detection (LAG) systems. Other prospects include primary explosive detection systems (PEDT) and EDS for cargo luggage, as well as multi-level systems with threat image projection software for mail and parcels. U.S. industry is recognized for its technological leadership in advanced products and quality standards and is expected to maintain a competitive edge.
Private and public medium-term and long-term investments are anticipated for airport expansion, existing structure upgrades, and new equipment and system purchases. Italian airports’ master plans can be found on the Italian Civil Aviation website.
The Italian government does not typically purchase goods and services from abroad unless they cannot be procured locally from domestic sources, which includes subsidiaries, branches, and agents of U.S. companies. To be considered as a source for Italian government purchases, we recommend that U.S. firms be established locally or represented by an agent/distributor. Invitations to bid are published on the individual airport management company websites and in European and Italian official gazettes.
Italian Official Gazette (public tenders)
U.S. Commercial Service Italy:
Maria Calabria, Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Embassy Rome
Tel: +39 06 4674 2427