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29/03/2010

New connections and consolidated routes: Verona - Casablanca with Royal Air Maroc

New connections and consolidated routes: Catullo Airport in Verona presents a new flight schedule for the 2010 Spring-Summer season. A new business alliance with Royal Air Maroc has been announced, it is going to operate at Villafranca terminal with a route to Casablanca, hub for the connection to the whole Atlantic Africa.

Verona, March 29th 2010 – The new flight schedule for 2010 Spring-Summer season has been presented today through a press conference by the Management of Catullo Spa. A main focus was given to the new Verona – Casablanca flight that is going to operate nonstop for three times a week, thanks to the business partnership with the prestigious Airline Royal Air Maroc. This connection is an important step for the airport, opening the access to the new international traffic hub of Casablanca, in addition to the already consolidated routes from Verona to other great European hubs as Munich, Frankfurt, Paris and London.

In 2009 Italy confirmed to be an important market for Morocco, as regards the generated tourists’ flows. Moreover, Morocco, with its millenary history, is a crossroads of cultural and economical exchanges. Supported by its position of notable geo-strategic interest, Morocco claims privileged relationships with the Arabic world and Africa, as well as with Europe. Particularly, in 2008 the “Advanced Statute” (i.e. “Statuto Avanzato”) has been subscribed with the European Union, aiming to deepen the cooperation in crucial sectors as agriculture, transport and energy. Mostly agricultural field is sustained by development plans and Government funds. (Source: Joint Relations MAE/ICE 2009).

On the press conference, moreover, new national and international destinations have been announced, that are related to (traditional and low cost) scheduled air traffic and to chartered traffic too, according to the business strategy finalized to keep a mixture of traffic types, as required by the terminal nature. Infact, if it is true that on one side, already in the past, the will of further develop the low cost component had been underlined, thus also strengthening an already existing segment on the hub, on the other side it has been confirmed that it is important to stimulate traditional and chartered air traffic too, as they remain extremely important segments for Catullo development.

In this sense, the objectives reached in relation to the traditional scheduled air traffic appear to be very important: the International connections to Yerevan (Armenia), leisure and business destination, and to Skopje, political, economical and cultural center of Macedonia, respectively operated by Air Italy and Meridiana Fly. As regards the national connections, new destinations of Lampedusa, Salerno and Pantelleria have been added.

Again regarding traditional scheduled air traffic, other destinations have been added to the consolidated operated flights in 2010: Tel Aviv, important both for religious tourism and business traffic, Malta and Lamezia Terme at national level.

Consolidated domestic destinations are Rome, Bari, Cagliari, Naples, Tortolì, Catania. The International ones are Frankfurt; Munich, Paris, Wien, Chisinau, Pristina and Timisoara.

Low cost offer on the hub has been enriched by the connections to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen and Billund, operating with the new schedule, in addition to the flights to Koln and Pristina, already operated from the beginning of the year. Some new low cost routes have been added to the consolidated ones like Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Catania/Palermo and Tirana.

Main Italian and foreign traditional and low cost carriers,operating on the hub are Air France, Alitalia, Lufthansa, Air Dolomiti, Austrian, British Airways, Air Malta, Wind Jet, Carpatair, Vueling, Transavia, Germanwings, Belleair, Cimber Sterling Air, along with Royal Air Maroc, Meridiana fly and Air Italy, as already mentioned. In particular, Air Dolomiti and Air Italy have made Verona their reference air call.

Verona is confirmed to be the second airport for chartered air traffic in Italy, with a consolidated offer of outgoing and incoming flights that is very wide. Among the outgoing destinations we can quote the most famous tourist destinations of Africa (Egypt, Red Sea, Kenya, Tunisia), Indian Ocean (Zanzibar) and Atlantic Ocean (Green Cape). And again, the sea lovers will easily reach Spain and its islands, the Greek islands of the Aegean Sea and Turkey. The incoming flow is strongly fed by tourists coming from new markets like Northern European Countries, as Sweden and Finland, Israel and Russia, as well as from traditional countries like England, Scotland, Ireland.

Through monitoring and analyzing the market source of the catchments area we are able to identify which routes are potentially useful for the incoming tourist air traffic. Germany, England, France, Spain, Denmark are source markets identified as priorities by local Consortia of Tourism Promotion. Among these ones, Germany and United Kingdom are the first and fourth markets also for Trentino (111.299 arrivals from Germany and 26.776 arrivals from United Kingdom winter 2008/2009. Source Elaboration Provincial Centre for Tourism Statistics Service data P.A.T.).

The value of traffic handled by the terminal is yearly equal to 3.065.968. Rome, Catania, Naples and Palermo are still national favorite destinations for Catullo travelers, as they alone registered an annual movement of more than 939.000 passengers. International traffic is still concentrated on the European hubs of Frankfurt, Munich, London and Paris. Must be reported instead, that some scheduled destinations recorded the best performances in term of growth: Bucharest confirmed its positive trend rising by 37 per cent in 2009, so as Pristina, with 29 per cent growth and over 40.000 passengers carried. Tirana is providing positive performance (even if quite low), up 8 per cent.

Chartered traffic is still strongly exposed to the negative economic conjuncture affecting the touristic market. Despite the crisis, must be reported that some destinations are confirming good results. Egypt, with Mersa Matruh, Kenia, with Mombasa and Russia with Moscow, registered passengers increase respectively of 194%, 104% and 34% compared to 2008.
The airport business strategy perfectly integrates with the infrastructural development plan, for which a foreseen 78 million Euros investment has already been announced. The optimization of available spaces and resources will allow to establish the Catullo as an efficient airport, in line with the expectations of the European Airlines.