MIAMI – If at first, you don’t succeed, try try again. That’s the mentality at Bolzano Airport (BZO), which will feature Italian regional startup Sky Alps beginning in mid-June. Sky Alps is a proposed virtual carrier to be based at BZO.
Sky Alps has leased a pair of De Havilland Dash 8-400s for their launch on June 14, which will include service to Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) three times a week and Parma twice a week. The airline will open service to Olbia on June 15, then twice-weekly service to Ibiza, and finally twice-weekly service to Berlin and Dusseldorf on June 30 and July 2 respectively.
About Bolzano Airport, Sky Alps
Located in South Tyrol, the northernmost province of Italy, BZO has struggled to attract profitable air service despite a robust modernization effort that began in 1999. The province has reportedly poured over €120m into the project in recent years, without generating any profitable routes.
When Darwin Airlines ceased PSO-flights to Rome Fiumicino in June 2015, the airport was left with no scheduled commercial traffic. One year later, a public opinion poll showed that locals no longer wanted to support the airport, forcing the airport’s operating company to liquidate and Italian authorities to take the license back.
Sky Alps will be the first airline to feature regular commercial service to/from BZO in over five years. Several other airlines have tried their hand at offering service to BZO, including Innsbruck-based Tyrolean Airways (VO OS) in 1999, Austria-based Air Alps in 2002, and Darwin Airline (F7) between 2013-2015. None have lasted.
Regular charter services from BZO to tourist destinations in southern Italy have been operated by Austrian Airlines (OS) in recent years, however. In addition, the airport was recently granted permission to extend its 4,200 ft. runway, should it need to accommodate larger aircraft.
Featured image: de Havilland