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Vandaag opent de jaarlijkse Salone del Mobile Milano zijn deuren
The high-tech sector in Southeast Brabant is large and growing. More and more investments are leading to an increase in business activity in Eindhoven and the surrounding area. What exactly are the importance and added value of Eindhoven Airport in this dynamic? In a series of stories, E52 maps out the function of the airport for the business market.

Milan. The fashion metropolis of Europe. But not only that. Any fashionista knows: beautiful furniture belongs to a beautiful wardrobe. Not surprisingly, the city in the north of Italy also has a huge design fair. These weeks thousands of designers travel from Eindhoven to the Salone del Mobile Milano. The expo starts today.

With almost 350,000 visitors a year, Salone del Mobile is even bigger than Eindhoven’s Dutch Design Week, which last year attracted more than 335,000 people. While the Dutch Design Week focuses on the future of design, the Milan Fair is primarily a reflection of current trends.

This is an important trade fair for prominent designers and talents from the design world. This week, people from all over the world will, therefore, visit this great design spectacle in Italy, also from the design city of Eindhoven. Their main point of departure? Eindhoven Airport. But does that actually mean a peak in flights?

In the airport terminal it is, in any case, quite busy these days. Contained and pocketed, designers, creators, and other creative minds await their escape. Because they know: if you want to make it in the design world, it’s best to start with Salone del Mobile, it’s best to start in Milan.

A small selection of the visitors from Eindhoven: students and alumni of the Design Academy in Eindhoven, designer duo Kiki & Joost and designer collective Dutch Invertuals. Experienced makers especially hope to do good business in Milan. For young talents, it’s an opportunity to show off. They can expand their network in Milan.

This exodus from Eindhoven will probably bring a lot of extra passengers to Eindhoven Airport. But what exactly do the figures say?

Last year, the trade fair took place in early April. In March of that year, almost 10,000 people took flight from Eindhoven to Milan-Bergamo. From there the train leaves for Milan, it’s an hour to the heart of the city.

That was not an extreme increase in flights, it turns out. Because almost every month of the year about 10,000 people travel from Eindhoven to Milan. The city turns out to be an ever-booked destination from the airport in Eindhoven. What stands out? In 2017, almost 40 percent of these flights were of a business nature. That is a lot more than the average of Eindhoven Airport, which according to the airport is at about 20 percent.

Still, there is more going on this month. Unlike the number of flights, the price of a ticket to Milan does skyrocket in April. Tickets are almost as expensive this month as in July, the holiday month par excellence. The load factor, the number of seats on the aircraft that actually are occupied, was also remarkably high in April, at 93%. The rising ticket price and full planes suggest one thing: the demand is high this month.

Moreover, according to research carried out by the airport itself, a relatively large number of people will be on business trips to Milan in April. The already high average of 40% business flights, grows even further in April.

So there appears to be a constant connection between two of Europe’s largest design cities. That commitment is only just a little more intimate in April. And this bond is based on more than just city trips and other holidays. It’s also for business.

Maybe it is not so strange that the number of flights between Eindhoven and Milan is continuously so high. After all, what is it all about in Milan? Effective networking and ultimately doing business. The aim, of course, is to create ties that last longer than the one-week fair.

So, the next stop for Italian visitors to the fair can be easily guessed: Eindhoven, during the Dutch Design Week 2018. There they can come and have a good chat on what the future holds for the Salone del Mobile as well.

This article is part of a series about the business value of Eindhoven Airport. The series was made possible in part by a contribution from the airport.