Lugano is a stop on the main European North-South route and can be reached from many cities in the northern and southern part of Europe by direct day or night train connections.
You can check all the trains and updated departure times from and to Lugano at the following http://www.sbb.ch/en/timetable.html.
There are frequent direct bus connections from Malpensa airport to Lugano (it takes about an hour to get to Lugano). Below you can find the main providers and their stops at Malpensa airport:
– GiosyTours – Malpensa Terminal 1: arrival floor exit no.4, parking-place no.5; Malpensa Terminal 2: parking-place no.4
– LuganoServices – Malpensa Terminal 1: arrival floor exit no.4, parking-place no.5 or 6; Malpensa Terminal 2: parking-place no.20
– JetBus – Malpensa Terminal 1: exit gate n.4 parking-place no.23; Malpensa Terminal 2: parking-place no.18
From Linate Airport and from the city center of Milano, you can take one of the frequent trains to Lugano (about 1h from Milano Centrale Station) .
Lugano has a small airport, served by Swiss (Zurich) and Darwin Airlines (Geneva, Berne, Rome and other Italian cities). From the airport you can take a shuttle to the center of the city (Shuttle Bus) or a taxi.
As an alternative you might consider flying to Zurich and use the train to travel to Lugano and this would be a 2-3 hour ride. There is one fast Intercity train every hour directly from Zurich Airport to Lugano. Geneva airport (an Easyjet hub) is farther away, trains connections are good, but there are no direct trains and it takes more time.