The SEA Group pursues the development of the various business areas through improving process efficiency and furthering the capacity to manage passenger and cargo traffic, considering that any slowdown in international air traffic, related to challenging economic circumstances, do not compromise the general sector trend over the medium/long-term.
In this regard, the SEA Group considers that gross operating margins can be developed - where there are no significant changes to the general operating environment - based also on the application of the new tariff levels under the Regulatory Agreement. In consideration of the specific characteristics of the individual business areas in which it operates, SEA has drawn up differentiated strategies for each business unit.
In pursuit of these strategies, SEA invests in the development of airport infrastructure, grows the various services offered to airport users in the sectors in which the Group directly and indirectly operates and guarantees at the same time increasingly improved safety, quality and environmental protection standards.
Development strategy for the Aviation Business Unit
In line with the route and flight frequency extension policy implemented in recent years, the SEA Group seeks to continue the development of passenger and cargo traffic, both through existing airlines operating out of the airports and through attracting new airlines, in particular on routes from and to countries of high economic growth, also based on the drawing up of bi-lateral agreements which govern access to the international air transport markets. In relation to Malpensa airport, the SEA Group intends to further develop the so-called “Big Point” traffic model, characterised by the presence of a multitude of airlines and a catchment area which can generate significant traffic volumes, in addition to a significant number of short and long haul connections, utilisable also as an interconnecting airport.
This strategy is implemented through the creation by SEA of conditions to integrate the air connection networks of differing airlines and is based upon a new operating policy, which allocates to the airport the role as co-ordinator and promoter of the airlines operating.
In 2013 the promotional activities continued, focused principally on the distribution and communication on the digital channels of the ViaMilano service, which permits the reaching of domestic and international destinations through the combination of one or more routes, even if operated by differing airlines (whether on low cost or traditional airlines). In particular, the Virtual Hub service enables – although in the absence of agreements among the airlines – the connection of autonomous routes, offering the connections operated to passengers and under the pre-stated agreements with further additional services for the passenger (described below). This extends the options of possible journey combinations in terms of timing and in some cases offers more beneficial financial conditions.
In relation to the strategies pursued by the Group in 2015, Milan will host Expo 2015, with positive repercussions on traffic at the Milan airports.
For cargo traffic, in view of the significant production level of goods within Malpensa user base and the consequent high level of air transport demand, the SEA Group is committed to extending the section of the airport dedicated to the handling of cargo (Milan Malpensa Cargo) and to the introduction of a policy to attract new airlines and increase the existing activity of airlines already operating at the airport, also on the basis of bi-lateral agreements which govern access to the international air transport market.
Development strategy for the Non Aviation Business Unit
As part of the strategy undertaken by the SEA Group to play a leading role in the commercial development of the Milan airports through the improvement, extension and innovation of the offer of goods and services for the entire scope of customers at the airport, the Non Aviation development activities are based on differentiated strategies at the individual terminals of Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate, in order to satisfy the specific needs of the differing passenger types and users of the individual terminals.
This strategy will be further developed in collaboration and partnership with the main sector operators and considers not only the introduction of innovative sales models and the extension of the brand portfolio, but also the use of analysis instruments (including customer profiling, targeted marketing plans and quality control systems), which can identify and satisfy as far as possible customer demands.
In view of the major Expo 2015 event, in 2013 works began on an extensive upgrading and development of Malpensa 1, which through innovation, design, cutting edge materials and refurbished and extended spaces, continued research into comfort levels and increasingly efficient and complete services which respond to the needs of all passengers, will see the commercial area of the departure level redefined and other areas of the airport restyled.
Luxury purchases, high quality products, excellent catering standards, dedicated services and great shopping opportunities: Milan Malpensa transforms simply being at the airport into a pleasurable “Airport Experience”.
The airport wishes to express the values of the fashion, design and taste capital through a targeted commercial offer of the leading brands in the various goods categories. From Bulgari, Giorgio Armani and Ermenegildo Zegna to Etro and Gucci; from Hermes and Montblanc to Salvatore Ferragamo, the most refined products enliven the windows of a place which can become to all effects and purposes a high end shopping destination and not just an area to pass through.
With the completions of these works, the airport will reach a total flooring area of 350,000 m2, of which 8,000 m2 of new commercial areas, comprising 46 new shops, adding to an already rich and structured offer.
A significant feature of the new project is the removal of the separation between the Schengen and non Schengen areas: all travellers, domestic or international, may access all commercial areas and all types of brands present at the airport. SEA has therefore drawn up a long-term commercial development plan, in order to maximise the advantages stemming from the growth potential of passenger traffic flows. The development of the infrastructure as a welcoming environment, presenting a commercial offer with luxury and major internationally prestigious brands, becomes therefore a fundamental issue, with the renewal of the areas for high quality retail, both in terms of design, comfort and hospitality. This is all achieved through significant support from the commercial partners, through dialogue and mutually-beneficial constructive relations.
Development strategy for the Energy Business Unit
The SEA Group, through SEA Energia, intends to continue to ensure the energy self-sufficiency (thermal and electricity) of both the Milan airports, utilising low environmental impact production systems, such as the co-generation stations adopted. The Group receives Green Certificates through SEA Energia which confirm the above-stated features of the plant utilised. In relation to the share of energy sold to third parties, deriving from the production surplus over airport energy needs, SEA will pursue a policy which identifies further end customers with whom bi-lateral contracts may be signed, reducing the proportion sold directly on the Electricity Exchange, with a consequent stabilisation of margins.