Seven companies pitch an interest for Lugano Airport


In the mix are captains of industry, young entrepreneurs and former pilots - One company comes from India and another, after focusing on Basel, now wants to fly to Ticino

Seven companies pitch an interest for Lugano Airport

Seven companies pitch an interest for Lugano Airport

Seven different groups are interested in taking over the management of Lugano Airport and few expected such an important participation of entrepreneurs residing in Ticino. On closer inspection there are almost all of the important names in the cantonal economic landscape. For the airport, after years of stormy outlooks it seems to be a good day.

The proposals

Yesterday the envelopes of the groups were opened which, at the request of the City of Lugano, expressed an interest in managing and investing in the airport. Unfortunately we are not able to provide details regarding all 7 projects. The positive news was one of the requisites required was the reinstatement of the Lugano-Geneva flight.

1: Friends of the airport

The first consortium is presented themselves at the Town Hall with the name ‘Friends of the airport’ which has the former deputy mayor of Lugano Giovanna Masoni Brenni and participants Ceresia Holding SA and Investindustrial Services SA headed by the Bonomi family. A consortium led by the CEO of L’Oreal Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones which brings together other captains of industry resident in Ticino (and who have been customers of the airport for some time). In recent months, however, without official confirmation, there has also been talk of the possible involvement of the Perfetti family and the financier Andrea Bonomi. ‘All the members of the consortium’ - Giovanna Masoni-Brenni told us in May believe it is very important for the city and the canton to keep the airport alive. Lugano (as indeed the Canton) has developed over time its connections (road, rail, air), to the exchanges and circulation of people, ideas and goods, and to the openness that they bring with them. From a slightly distant village it has become a city, with international ambitions, well beyond its small size and that of our country’.

2: Marending-Artioli and partners

The interest of the entrepreneur Stefano Artioli had been in the air for a while, and has now been officially confirmed . Artioli has created a consortium also composed of Rolf Marending (of Tarmac Aviation), Massimo Malgorani (of Delta Line SA) and the lawyer Oscar Crameri. The group proposes to collaborate with the TAG Maintenance Service (owned by Dassault) for the ordinary management of the airport. However, the intention is also to propose real estate investments in three stages (including new hangars and a new terminal connected to an underground parking garage). The group also aims to transform Agno into a research pole, focusing heavily on drones and electric aircraft.

3: H24 SA

On the application presented by the company H24 SA we were able to discover little. The contact person is Fabio De Luca. According to the Commercial Register, the company, based in Lugano, mainly deals with asset management and administration.

4: Moov Airways

The fourth candidacy, that of Moov Airways, is also interesting. The contact person is Alvaro Nogueira de Oliveira, a long-time airline pilot (for example, he flew on Ryanair and Azul 737s) and who in 2017 founded an airline, Moov, intending (according to his Linkedin page) to operate from Basel airport. The intention is therefore likely to also fly from Lugano.

5: Northern Lights

Behind Northern Lights is a young Ticino man (Damian Hefti) and a pilot (Andrea Burkhardt) who knows the airport very well. Burkhardt worked on it for 12 years piloting the Saab 2000s of Crossair, Swiss and Darwin. Their idea is to have a holding company (Northern Lights SA) manage the airport and then to create a regional airline. Hefti is in fact the promoter of SouthSuisse Airways, which would like to connect Lugano to Geneva with Embraer 170 and then maybe also to Frankfurt and London (in addition to summer charter flights).

6. Haryana City Gas

An Indian company, SKN Haryana City Gas Distribution Pvt. Ltd., represented by Daniel von Rechitar, also came forward. Haryana is a state in northern India, inhabited by about 25 million inhabitants and the company - as the name describes - deals with the supply of fuel, but is also active in various branches.

7. Team Lug

Ticinese is also the consortium ‘Team Lug’. The contacts include Raffaella Meledandri of Air-Dynamic (a private transport company already active in Lugano) and Nicola Brivio. ‘The premise - the mayor of Morcote explained to us - is that we are candidates without necessarily wanting to be equated with the financially stronger groups. But we still have excellent know-how on our side and we believe that our recipes could arouse the interest of various investors’.

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