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Ryanair plans billion dollar Milan expansion

plans to invest US$1.2 billion to expand services at Milan. This will occur at at Malpensa and at the low-cost hub Orio al Serio.

Full Statement


Ryanair, Europe’s largest low fares airline today (13th Sept) launched its own ‘Manifesto for Malpensa’ in response to Alitalia’s plan to cut half of its 340 daily flights from the airport.

As Lombardy’s largest low fares airline, Ryanair is determined that the people of Lombardy should remain connected to the rest of Italy and Europe despite Alitalia’s plans to abandon the region.


Ryanair has demonstrated the ability of its low fares to deliver rapid growth at hundreds of European airports and in less than ten years has developed a network of 144 routes to/from 22 Italian airports. Despite this unprecedented growth, the number of passengers enjoying low fare flights in Lombardy remains massively underdeveloped, and by working with Orio al Serio to the east of Milan and Malpensa to the west of Milan, Ryanair’s Manifesto for Malpensa would remove this inequity.

In the greater metropolitan area of London (pop. 7 m) for example, 18 m passengers annually enjoy Ryanair’s low fares at 3 London airports yet in Milan which has the same greater metropolitan population of 7m inhabitants, this number is 6 times lower. There is clearly room for growth to both the east and the west of Milan and Ryanair’s manifesto for Malpensa would ensure that Lombardy realises its true potential once passengers have an alternative to the excessively high fares charged by Alitalia.

In return for a business plan which focuses on delivering a simple, efficient, low cost operation at Malpensa Airport, Ryanair is committed to developing in Lombardy by investing over $1bn between 2008 to 2012 as follows:

1)      More than double the size of its existing Bergamo base (currently 4 aircraft and 39 routes) by investing $420m in 6 additional aircraft before 2012.

2)      Invest $840m in Malpensa, basing 12 aircraft at the airport, starting with 5 in 2008, a further 4 in 2009 and 3 in 2010.

3)      Open 50 international routes from Malpensa bringing real low fare connections to all of Europe’s major destinations.

4)      Open 10 domestic low fare domestic routes connecting Milan to the islands, centre and south of the country.

5)      Guarantee the lowest fares of any airline flying from any Milan airport to any of the destinations served.

Speaking today, Ryanair’s Head of Communications, Peter Sherrard said:

“For too long Alitalia’s high fares have limited growth in Malpensa and the Milan area. In order for the airport and the region to prosper, Malpensa needs to attract those airlines which are capable of delivering growth, and no airline can match Ryanair’s unrivalled ability to deliver this because of the infinitely broader appeal of low fares compared to the narrow appeal of Alitalia’s high fares. We look forward to meeting with SEA tomorrow to discuss our offer to deliver growth by investing over $1bn in Malpensa and Orio al Serio.  Ryanair’s ‘Manifesto for Malpensa’ can unlock the true potential of the region thanks to the proven ability of our guaranteed lowest fares to deliver record growth for tourism and business.  Ryanair’s offer to SEA provides the potential for real growth, what happens now is in SEA’s hands.”