Analysis of the catchment area of SEA Milan Group airports

Case study


Motion Analytica, in collaboration with a number of major Italian airports, conducted intensive research to develop specific analyses aimed at interpreting several key elements of air transportation.


SEA Milan Airports: Malpensa and Linate


SEA Group decided to rely on Motion Analytica to obtain timely information on the travel habits of passengers at Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports, identifying their profiles and studying their intra- and extra-airport mobility behaviors.

The result is an exhaustive overview of various aspects related to the catchment area of the group’s airports, allowing for the improvement of existing offerings and services and the availability of innovative indicators for new investments.



Mobile phone data:

positioning of users in relation to phone cells in the Vodafone Italia network, aggregated and anonymized to comply with the strictest privacy requirements.


Internal flight data:

scheduling from flights and tracking the influx of users into the airport.


The analyses were defined following discussion on all domain issues involved with the SEA group. This activity was essential to ensure a robust methodology and to design the best data integration strategies with airport proprietary sources.

In this way, it was possible to develop the study of travelers’ attendance and their time at the airport, distinguishing the profiles of arriving and departing passengers, transit passengers, and passengers completing a trip within the day.

In addition, the catchment area was analyzed in detail in relation to:

Italian outbound or inbound travelers: origin of travelers at the level of municipality, province, and region of Italian (telephone) residence, with differentiation by passenger categories;

Incoming foreign travelers: nationalities of origin with differentiation by passenger categories.

Relative to Italian users, the “main destination,” i.e., the main location of travel destination, was then identified, as well as the main characteristics of domestic tourism, such as the analysis of nights spent, or the centrality index of the location within the overall travel or vacation experience.

Next, the study focused on defining the market share, both on individual route to identify travel patterns and preferences and on the territory of interest, identifying the place of departure and the final destination of the trip.

Finally, thanks to valuable input from the SEA Group, an innovative methodology was developed to define two key elements: true destination and true origin.

These two elements expand the possibilities for airports to observe in detail the behavior of their users beyond what is currently achievable with standard approaches.


The analyses developed led to a better understanding of the catchment area of the two airports, laying the foundation for optimizing the activities managed within the facilities, but also for interacting more effectively with the entire ecosystem of stakeholders and improving the overall experience of its customers.

The identification of true origin and true destination also enabled the evaluation of shared strategies between Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports.

Finally, the numerous insights obtained were useful in defining new internal processes and investments, tying strategic choices to the actual demand found by the analyses.

This analysis project consolidates the collaboration between Motion Analytica and SEA Group, laying the methodological foundation for the development of aviation-specific analyses that are capable of supporting airports, airlines and ground operations through innovative approaches.

Change the way you interpret human mobility!