The Alitalia crisis and the future of Malpensa airport: lessons from international cases This paper considers different cases of de-hubbing in Europe and the US to analyze their effect on airport traffic and passengers’ welfare. The final objective is to derive some possible implications for the development of Malpensa. We find that when a carrier abandons a hub there is always a significant and immediate decrease in passenger volumes and network quality. We find that de-hubbing is not likely to be completely reversible. It is the short-term reaction of airports, by favouring the entry of low-cost and network carriers that brings about irreversibility. In the mediumterm the analyzed airports recover traffic and network quality. Even if intercontinental direct services decrease, there are also advantages from the passengers’ perspective, among which cheaper fares for low-cost short-haul flights. However, Malpensa still retains valuable connections to the networks of the three major alliances and of other non-allied and low-cost carriers. One future development for the airport could be to take into itself to promote and coordinate transit passengers between independent airlines.Airports, de-hubbing, growth strategies, Malpensa
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