The Italian railroad system is intact and in friendly territory, the Messina straits is just a "speed bump" it a rvery short trip (less than one hour) and performed on train ferries, so no unloading of the carts. The Balkan railroads are in hostile territory for a significant part. Things like airfield security are easier in friendly country and the availability of local contruction assets, rather than having to go and drag them out of a hostile local popultaton helps too. The Hitler/Mussolini dynamics are hard to guess, (two megalomaniacs, one suffering from idocy, the other from paranoia comming to an agreement? would be fun to watch), but with France still in the war they will have to create some joint strategy against the common enemy though bad cooperation is a historical axis handicap, IIRC British/French cooperation was nothing to write home about but in the main probably better. We have to look realistically at what the missions for the air forces are: - Axis: support the ground offensive towards Tunis/Algiers (mostly from NA based planes) prevent naval interference with the supply convoys (when a force is spotted or against the ports if the alles try forward basing). attacking allied merchant shipping is not a priority, there are not going to be a lot of those around - Allies protect the ground forces protect the fleet intercept the supply convoys For the ground support missions, which is going to be the bulk of air activity, the two forces are on an equal footing, for naval fleet support the allies have an advantage as long as they can keep Malta operative, but Faith, Hope and Charity are obviously not enough against a major LW effort and it came close to going totally not operational agaist a single Fliegerkorps. If Malta is inoperative they are actually at a range disadvantage, the axis has Pantelleria as an emergency base right in the middle of the operational area. IMO the axis have little chance of preventing resupply of NA until they get near Algiers the allies have plenty of out of range ports until then. U-boats may get lucky with an occasional Gibraltar convoy, like historically happened in 1942, but there are a lot less u-boats in 1940 than in 1942 (also less escorts but the troop convoys are going to get priority). Anyway I see no need for the allies to push supplies forward by sea, with obvious exception of Malta, going by night would trade the LW for the light forces, Italy had plenty of MAS, until widespread naval radars are available not an obvious choice, Tunis is well within LW fighter range so sending ships there is high risk, I don't recall if there was a railroad from Algiers to Tunis but even a road would be better, night trains are virtually immune to anything the axis has just like the German ones in Italy were for most of the Italian campaign. So with those missions in mind the axis is at a disadvantage when bombing allied bases, including Malta, but is not worse off supporting ground troops that is going to be the major mission for both. If the allies try establishing standing naval patrols in the central med, something they historically didn't attempt even 1943, the LW is figthing on an equal footing, IMO actually better because of the long trip from the British isles, if they don't the troops and supplies are going to get through like they historically did and a few badlt equipped CW troops are not going to stop the German army that has nearly bottomless reserves. Malta resupply is not comparable to NA, it usually was "maximum effort" convoys with large naval support, something comparable to the Italian "battleship convoys", the Sicly NA route was a daily affair with ships at sea practically every day, during the Tobruk siege the bulk of the LW was in the USSR, they didn't send back 10th Fliegerkorps until 1942. The one allied advantage is ULTRA compared to having to rely on air recon, but it doesn't look like it's enough, ULTRA is a brittle weapon, use it too often and it will shatter.