The Italian Civil Aviation Authority recently published its air traffic data for 2020. As expected, the covid-19 pandemic significantly affected civil air transport to and from Italy, in line with the situation faced by the industry worldwide.

Compared with 2019, there was a 72% decrease in the number of passengers carried (on both domestic and international routes), equal to approximately 53 million passengers.

The busiest airport in 2020 was Rome FCO (with 9.7 million passengers), followed by:

  • Milan MXP (with 7.2. million passengers);
  • Bergamo BGY (with 3.8 million passengers);
  • Catania CTA (with 3.6 million passengers); and
  • Venice VCE (with 2.7 million passengers).

With regard to air carriers, Ryanair was on top of the table, with 11.8 million passengers carried in 2020. Alitalia ranked second (with 6.5 million passengers), while EasyJet came third (with 3.5 million passengers).

There were 551,071,000 aircraft movements overall in 2020, a significant decrease of 61% compared with 2019. However, some airports bucked the trend and showed an important growth – for example, Brescia VBS registered a 42% increase in the amount of traffic in 2020, which was led by cargo operations.

It was indeed the cargo sector that suffered a lighter downturn compared with passenger air transport, since goods and products continued to travel regardless of the various restrictions and lockdowns adopted in the majority of countries. A total of 804,000 tons of cargo were carried to or from Italy in 2020, a decrease of 24% compared with 2019.

The general aviation industry also proved to be fairly resilient to the pandemic, with a traffic reduction of only 17% compared with 2019. This was thanks to the fact that smaller airports that mainly serve private and business flights stayed open during the lockdown periods, and that such operations serve a different marketplace and have different purposes.

For further information on this topic please contact Giulio Teofilatto or Laura Pierallini at Studio Legale Pierallini e Associati by telephone (+39 06 88 41 713) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]‚Äč). The Studio Legale Pierallini e Associati website can be accessed at