Bernie Baldwin

Setting out BGY’s recovery plans and the commitment to a memorable experience for all.

“I suspect medium-to-long haul travel will be the last to return, but cannot say when each type will return to higher volumes.” Giacomo Cattaneo, director of commercial aviation for SACBO SpA, which operates Milan Bergamo Airport (BGY), is assessing the potential route development that may occur by the end of 2021.

“It’s difficult to predict with events changing so rapidly,” he admits. “In Summer 2020 we saw a return of Italian domestic flights, but the aviation industry will undoubtedly go through a tough Winter season. Our expectation is that domestic routes will come first, then intra-Europe flights, short haul non-EU flights and a good component of ethnic travel, such as Morocco, Egypt and Ukraine.”

When traffic returns, travellers will find a re-developed terminal, especially the non-Schengen area. “BGY is always transforming. Our investment programme includes various components,” Cattaneo explains.

“Recent months have seen the inauguration of new extra Schengen departures and extra arrivals areas. The implementation went very smoothly; new areas substituted previous ones, so the works did not interfere with existing passenger traffic,” he continues.

“Having fewer passengers allowed a soft transition that did not involve problems. It’s not just the extra Schengen areas we are investing in; the works in progress for the Western extension will be dedicated to Schengen passengers. The new building will be connected to the existing terminal; it will host new additional boarding gates for Schengen destinations on the upper floor. On the ground floor, it will have additional areas for arrivals and additional baggage carousels. The inauguration is expected at the end of Summer 2021,” Cattaneo confirms.

While Milan Bergamo has always paid a lot of attention to passengers with special needs, the new developments have an increased focus in this area. “The redevelopment and extension of our terminal was a good time to relocate the PRM lounge in a more central part of the terminal, in the middle of the services, retailing, food and drink area,” Cattaneo reports. “The quality and ambience of the new PRM room will hopefully give travellers a memorable airport experience.”