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After Sardinia, as extensively reported by Aviacionline over the last couple of weeks, the Sicilian region of Italy has also launched an emergency run for continuità territoriale (territorial continuity) services that will be left by Alitalia once the airline stops operating on October 14.
In this case, Alitalia does not own the entirety of the contracts; the only routes in Sicily where the state-owned carrier receives subsidies connect Comiso, in the south of the island, to Milan-Linate and Rome-Fiumicino.
The airline currently serves each route once a day, and the last day of flight is the airline’s last day of operations, October the 14th.
The call for applications was done and is being coordinated by ENAC – the National regulator for Civil Aviation – and deadline for proposals can be done by airlines via email by October the 6th. The contract will run from October the 15th to May 14th, 2022.
Comiso, however, will not be left without flights; Ryanair currently serves the city with direct connections to a number of its major bases.
According to data gathered by Aviacionline with Cirium Diio Mi, in October the airport will see 206 flights, with 36,078 seats being offered – that’s already considering Alitalia’s halt on October 14. By number of ASKs, even not operating for half the month, the continuità operations still represent 15.6% of the entire capacity in Comiso for the month.
While without the subsidized flights the Milan area would still be well-served, with Ryanair serving Milan/Malpensa with 23 flights in the month and Bergamo with 13, Rome would be left without a nonstop connection to Comiso.
That’s why the Regional government, despite subsidies on essential operations to Sicily being regulated by the National aviation regulator, is actively concerned regarding these flights.
Local newspaper Quotidiano di Sicilia reported that the Regional President, Nello Musumeci, «will meet in the next days the airlines that operate in Sicily to find, together, a solution.»
«The continuità territoriale service [to Comiso] should continue», said the politician, adding that «there is our commitment to value and sustain Comiso Airport under a system logic, together to Catania Airport and Lampedusa Airport».
Sicily’s current continuità network includes the flights to Comiso, flights from Trapani, in the Western coast, to Ancona, Perugia and Trieste by Bulgaria’s Tayranjet, with Brindisi and Parma connected by Spain’s Albastar.
Two smaller insular cities south of the main island, which belong to the Sicilian Region, are also connected by the program. Lampedusa is connected to Catania and Palermo, with Pantelleria receiving flights to Catania, Palermo and Trapani. All flights are operated by Danish Air Transport, branded locally as DAT Volidisicilia.
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