An exclusive agreement was reached between the Abu Dhabi-based carrier and the management of Italy’s Parma Airport to develop cargo traffic and the first step will be to establish a cargo transit centre at the airport.
Is Parma too close to Milan?
The project, which is headed by Etihad will also be put together with the help of partner airlines such as Alitalia.
These carriers are also firmly embedded at Milan’s Malpensa airport which is situated about 100 km’s north of Parma.
So far, cargo flights into or out of Parma are something of a rarity.
The airport exists mainly from passenger traffic, which in 2015 was around 200,000 who were mainly served by Ryanair and FlyOne.
There may be good economical reasons for Etihad and Alitalia to look at Parma as a future air cargo hub.
The main one being costs.
Milan Malpensa has become very popular with foreign carriers, among them various freighter operators such as Cargolux, Lufthansa Cargo and Silk Way Airlines.
Could it be that Etihad prefers its own cargo hub in Italy in the future?
If so, Parma is not a bad choice as it lies directly in one of Italy’s most important production areas for hi-value goods.
Etihad makes Parma come to live
The Parma airport management states that work has already begun for ramping up the airport infrastructure in order to be ready to operate new cargo services from there.
Parma Airport Chairman, Guido Dalla Rosa Prati stated that “with the cooperation of Etihad Airways the airport is already coming to life and we are really honoured to have gained the interest of Etihad Airways.”
The airport, which is also known under the name of Giuseppe Verdi Airport is moving ahead with its cargo development plans and it seems that Etihad will be willing to support these financially. How much money the carrier is willing to invest remains a closely guarded secret.
John Mc Donagh