The consortium of investors which took over Bolzano airport in northern Italy is planning to launch its own airline, Sky Alps (Bolzano), with the launch of flights to Rome scheduled for May 2020, local newspaper Alto Adige has reported.

The plans were announced by Josef Gostner, the head of the investors' consortium.

The start-up carrier will operate a Dash 8-400 turboprop. The use of larger aircraft is not possible since the airport's sole runway is just 1,297-metre (4,255-feet) long. The new owners have plans to extend the runway by an additional 260 metres in the future.

After the launch of daily flights to the Italian capital, Sky Alps will also evaluate further hub connections to Vienna and Munich. In addition, in summer 2020 the airline intends to launch charter flights to southern Italy, including destinations in Calabria, Sicily, and Sardinia.

ABD Holding, a consortium set up by Gostner, Hans Peter Haselsteiner, and René Benko, took over the operation of Bolzano airport in September 2019, paying EUR3.8 million euros (USD4.3 million) for 100% of shares.

Bolzano, or Bozen, is the capital of the majority German-speaking autonomous province of Südtirol (Alto Adige). According to the ch-aviation schedules module, the airport does not currently have any scheduled traffic. The last scheduled route, to Rome Fiumicino, was terminated by now-defunct Darwin Airline (F7, Lugano) in July 2015. The airport is located some 90 kilometres from Innsbruck, the closest airport with scheduled traffic, although mountainous terrain complicates overland transfer between the cities making it a trip of almost two hours.