Bernie Baldwin

With a UNESCO World Heritage site for the wine industry on its doorstep and northwest Italy’s major ski runs too, Cuneo Airport believes that it is in a position to develop into a true all-year round destination. The Piemonte Region, in which Cuneo sits, is a growing market, according to the airport’s general manager, Anna Milanese.

Ryanair has already seen and built on the potential. The airline first began flying from Cuneo in 2006, when the airport had no scheduled services, having only had general aviation operations until that time. The Irish low-fare carrier now operates to Rome, Cagliari and Bari and has been highly instrumental in building traffic from zero in 2006 to 200,000 in 2018.

The airport has also attracted Air Arabia’s Moroccan operation, which is now operating flights to and from Casablanca, as well as charter carrier Ernest. “CONNECT 2019 is the first event at which Cuneo Airport has exhibited  together with the region’s tourist organisation, Visit Piemonte,” reports Milanese. “We’re not far from the region’s capital, Turin, but we’re far enough from Milan Malpensa for there not to be any cannibalisation of air traffic.

Emphasising the attributes of Cuneo’s market, Milanese adds, “The Langhe-Roero wine region – including the town of Barolo where the ‘King of Wines’ comes from – is celebrating five years as a UNESCO heritage site while the  whole Piemonte region has received the Best In Travel Award from Lonely Planet this year.”

Milanese’s goal – to promote the wine and ski regions – certainly brings two leisure activities which have been known to go together very well.