Route Analysis: Milan-Dakar

Milan Bergamo is set to be linked nonstop to West Africa once again.

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Spanish carrier Albastar is planning to launch scheduled flights between Italy and Senegal in May, filling a gap in the market left by the suspension of Italian leisure airline Blue Panorama’s operations last October.

Flights from Milan Bergamo (BGY) to Dakar (DSS) will begin on May 13, operating twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays through Oct. 31. The service restores Milan Bergamo’s sole link to West Africa and will become the airport’s longest route once operations start.

The market between Milan and Dakar has proved interesting in recent years, with Albastar becoming the fourth airline to launch flights between the cities since the pandemic began.

Air Italy previously operated a 4X-weekly nonstop service from Milan Malpensa (MXP) to DSS using Airbus A330-200s. However, the Qatar Airways-backed carrier suspended operations in February 2020, leaving the city pair unserved.

Italian carrier Neos Air then picked up the MXP-DSS route five months later and is currently offering 2X-weekly Boeing 737 flights, while Air Senegal began serving the same route in September 2020. Senegal’s national airline operates the sector 4X-weekly using A321s.

Blue Panorama became the third new entrant in October 2020—operating a 3X-weekly BGY-DSS service until all flights were halted a year later.

The launch of Albastar’s BGY-DSS route will increase the number of two-way seats between Milan and Dakar from 2,064 currently to about 2,800. At this time three years ago, capacity was approximately 2,000 two-way seats.

According to data provided by Sabre Market Intelligence, O&D traffic between Milan and Dakar increased from 80,000 in 2015 to 114,000 in 2019. After dipping to 59,400 in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic and exit of Air Italy, O&D traffic bounced back to around 106,000 two-way passengers in 2021.

The Milan region has a significant Senegalese diaspora, so flights between the cities predominantly cater for VFR passengers. It is estimated there are more than 100,000 Senegalese people in Italy, with Milan, Rome and Genoa home to the largest communities.






Boeing 737-800



Start date:

May 13, 2022


4,258 km (2,646 mi.)

O&D traffic demand (2021):


Annual growth (2021 vs 2020):


Average base fare (2021):