Malpensa Airport Passenger Numbers - Before and After the Pandemic

Malpensa Airport - Before the Pandemic

Over the last 10 years we can see that significant growth in passenger numbers occurred at Malpensa airport between 2016 and 2019, rising from 19.3 million in 2016 to 28.8 million in 2019:

Malpensa Airport - Passengers per year pre-pandemic

Then, towards the end of Q1 2020 the world was hit by Covid. The impact on flight travel generally was significant and although there have been hits to global travel due to disease outbreaks in the past - the effect Covid had on air travel was significant to say the least.

The Pandemic Hits - The Impact on Passenger Numbers at Malpensa Airport

Malpensa airport passenger numbers 2013-2022

The difference between passenger volumes on a quarterly level between 2019 and 2020 were substantial to say the least:

Malpensa airport passenger volume changes by quarter - 2019 vs 2020

Given that the Covid situation didn't really fully hit the travel industry until the end of Q1, the drop from 5.5 million passengers in Q1 2019 to 3.8 million in 2020 doesn’t appear to be that bad and could perhaps be written off as “industry jitters” or a seasonal change in the number of airlines or routes with a drop of 31.29% in passengers.

Q2 however was a very different story. Passenger volume in Q2 2019 was a record 7 million passengers. Q2 2020 saw that decimated to just under 260,000 passengers for the period - a drop of 96.29%

Q3 began to show an element of recovery - only 75.39% down on Q3 2019 - however, that could be attributed to the closure of one of the other local airports - Linate, and the subsequent diversion of flights to Malpensa from Linate, compounded with the small amount of summer traffic and benefitting from the domestic flights Linate would have had. $100 million was also invested in revamping Linate airport between 2018 and 2121 enabling it to handle more passenger volume.

Q4 saw a relative drop with Q4 2020 down by 87.58% (854,855 passengers) from Q4 2019 (6,883,575 passengers) - some of the additional downward swing could be attributed to the reopening of Linate to international travel as more routes began to roll back into service.

The increase in passengers to Malpensa since 2020

The following chart shows passenger volume by quarter, compared by year - currently only Q1 data is available for 2023 so far (Yellow bar).

Malpensa airport passenger numbers by quarter since the pandemic

The Recovery so far - Comparing quarters by year, post-pandemic against 2019

The following chart compares the recovery so far by quarter for each year against 2019 by quarter:

Malpensa airport passenger numbers by quarter compared to pre-pandemic

So far the recovery appears to have been pretty strong until the end of Q4 2022, but appears to have slowed in Q1 of 2023 with only a very marginal improvement on Q1 2022 - Q1 2021 was 3,144,148 passengers, vs Q1 2022 which was 3,218,026.

Whilst there are no specific indicators as to why the recovery appears to have slowed, the reopening of Terminal 2 at Malpensa on May 30th 2023 will likely add significant passenger numbers throughout the rest of 2023, potentially bringing passenger numbers back to 2019 figures in 2024.

Additional data also suggests the recovery is perhaps a little stronger than passenger data alone does.

The reopening of Terminal 2 at Malpensa airport

Malpensa Terminal 2 is set to be the exclusive home of easyJet according to airport sources, who also stated on opening day alone around 20,000 easyJet passengers will pass through the terminal, and a total of around 5 million passengers to 60+ destinations using 23 aircraft. Terminal 2 had been closed since June 2020.

Increase in flight routes to and from Malpensa airport

The number of routes to and from Malpensa has also increased slightly in Q1 2023 to 1004, up from 938 in Q1 in 2022.

Number of flight routes by quarter at Malpensa airport

Change in the number of airlines with flights to and from Malpensa

Perhaps one of the most significant indicators showing passenger volumes will not only return to 2019 figures in the next 12 months but potentially return to "normal growth", is the sizable increase in the number of airlines offering flights to and from Malpensa.

Number of airlines by quarter at Malpensa airport

Given the data does not yet reflect the easyJet announcement of their return to Malpensa, there certainly appears to be a marked increase in the number of airlines generally providing flights to and from Malpensa - this should solidify a return to pre-pandemic passenger numbers in the next 12 months if the trends in traffic, airlines and routes continue the way they have so far since the pandemic.

More information about Malpensa airport passenger numbers, flights and destinations


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