First commercial flight took off in 1972
|In 1972, the airport's facilities consisted of a small|
single-storey building - a far cry from today
The flight, operated by the former Itavia airline using one of their McDonnell Douglas DC-9 aircraft, took off at 9.15am on 21 March bound for Rome, due to land around one hour later. There were just 18 passengers on board.
The anniversary was marked by a presentation at the Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo’s Città Bassa, at which Giovanni Sanga - the president of SACBO, the company that runs the airport - explained how traffic through the airport has expanded so rapidly in the last 20 years that Orio al Serio - known nowadays as Il Caravaggio - is now the third busiest airport in Italy.
Built on the site of what had been a World War Two military airfield, Il Caravaggio handled more than 13.8 million passengers in 2019 - the last full year before the Covid-19 pandemic - which meant only Rome Leonardo da Vinci and Milan Malpensa were busier. In 2000, the numbers of passengers through the airport was only one million
|Ryanair is by far Bergamo's biggest airline today,|
serving more than 100 destinations
Less than four kilometres (2.5 miles) from the city, Il Caravaggio is easily accessible with the Bergamo's railway station only 15 minutes away by the Linea 1 service run by ATB (Azienda Trasporti Bergamo). From the station, the service travels along the main thoroughfare through the Città Bassa, stopping within a short walk of most of the major hotels, to Città Alta, to which the journey takes about half an hour.
There are plans to open a railway station at the airport in 2024.