EVA Air makes Milan Malpensa its first European route in 20 years

With flights scheduled to commence on 18 February 2020, EVA Air will begin a four times weekly service from Taipei Taoyuan to Milan Malpensa (MXP) next year. The 316-seat 777-300-operated service will become the carrier’s only sector to Italy, and just the fifth destination it flies to in Europe adding to its existing routes to Amsterdam, London Heathrow, Paris CDG and Vienna. MXP will become the third direct station in Europe, with other cities (London and Amsterdam) only being served via Bangkok, and it is the first route to be opened by the carrier in Europe in the last 20 years.

The Star Alliance carrier, which flew more than 12.5 million passengers in 2018, currently flies to 65 global destinations, including 11 in North America and 50 in Asia and Oceania. EVA Air is one of just eight carriers in the world rated as a ‘Five-Star Airline’ by international quality ratings organisation SkyTrax, and becomes the fifth of those eight airlines to serve MXP. It was also rated amongst the world’s Top 10 Airlines of 2019, as voted for by global travellers, and is the seventh of those ten carriers to fly to Malpensa. It has received this accolade for four years in a row.

“Adding a top-quality carrier like EVA Air to our airline roll call at Malpensa is a real coup for us,” states Andrea Tucci, VP Aviation Business Development at SEA. “To be selected as the carrier’s only destination in Italy, and one of just five in Europe, validates the growing attractiveness of the Milan brand abroad, thanks to a rich calendar of events and a dynamic economic environment.” The importance of the airline’s hub in Taipei, and the potential for onward connections, will also benefit the new route. “We expect many travellers on the route to fly point-to-point between Taipei and Milan, but we also anticipate significant volumes of passengers and cargo transfer traffic on EVA Air’s network of 31 points in Asia, 18 in China and Brisbane in Australia,” states Tucci. More than 70% of Milan’s traffic to Asia currently flies via a long-haul gateway.

Operated year-round, EVA Air will fly the 9,640-kilometre sector on days 1,2,4 and 6 from its hub at Taipei Taoyuan, and will leave Milan on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays given the overnight service from Asia. Flight BR71 departs Taiwan at 23:40 and arrive at MXP at 07:15 the next day. Leaving Malpensa at 11:50, BR72 lands in Taipei at 06:30 the following day.

The Taipei Taoyuan hub becomes the 18th Asian gateway flown from MXP and EVA Air the 14th airline with flights to the region. The new flights to Taiwan join existing operations to Azerbaijan (Azerbaijan Airlines), China (Air China, Neos), Georgia (Wizz Air), Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific Airways), India (Air India), Japan (Alitalia), Korea (Korean Air), Maldives (Air Italy, Alitalia, Neos), Pakistan (Pakistan International Airlines), Singapore (Singapore Airlines), Thailand (Thai Airways) and Uzbekistan (Uzbekistan Airways). “Asia is market that is growing by 17% year-on-year for MXP, thanks to the investment in capacity by our 13 serving airlines and their collective strategy to improve the quality of Milan’s network by moving beyond traffic closer to its final destination,” concludes Tucci.

Throughput figures at MXP for 1H 2019 are at a record level, with just under 12.5 million passengers being handled during the first six months of the year – representing +10% annual growth. The Italian gateway has now delivered 48 consecutive months of passenger growth and in a rolling 12-month period handled 25.7 million passengers.