UK remains largest no-frills market in Europe – some 8.8 million international seats
The aviation analysts, OAG, say the number of seats offered by European low-cost carriers (LCC) has increased by an average of 14% per year over the 10 years. By contrast the number of seats offered by the legacy airlines rose by about 1% per year. Over the 10 years from 2004 to 2013 the low cost airlines added some 20 million seats, and the legacy airlines added some 2.8 million seats. The UK remains the largest LCC market in Europe, with more than double the seat capacity of 10 years ago, and the UK number rose by 15% in the last year. While the UK LCC market has some 8.8 million international seats per year, Spain is the 2nd largest with 7.4 million. Then come Italy (4.5m), Germany (3.7m) and France 3.2m). The number of seats on European LCCs is of the order of 34 million, and they are somewhere around 43% of all international seats for the UK, with legacy carriers having some 57% of seats. The LCC proportion is higher in Spain than in the UK and lower in France and Germany. Across Europe, Ryanair has about 31% of the LCC seat capacity and Easyjet about 21%.
UK remains largest no-frills market in Europe
3.5.2013 (eTid travel industry digest)
European low-cost carriers are increasing their market share at an ‘astonishing’ rate, according to OAG, the aviation intelligence specialist.
The number of seats offered by European low-cost carriers has increased by an average of 14% per year over the last decade, compared to a 1% average annual rise in capacity among legacy carriers, said OAG.
The OAG FACTS (Frequency and Capacity Trend Statistics) report for May shows that legacy airlines increased their annual market volume by 2.8m seats between May 2004 and May 2013, while LCCs (low-cost carriers) have collectively added more than 20m seats during the same period, surpassing 30m total seats in May this year.
The UK remains the largest LCC market in Europe, with 8.8m international seats in May 2013, which is more than double the seat capacity of 10 years ago.
John Grant, executive vice president of OAG, said: ‘While it’s no surprise that LCCs are increasing capacity at a faster rate than their legacy counterparts, the actual rate at which low-cost airlines are growing their market share is quite astonishing.
‘In the last 12 months alone, the UK’s international LCC capacity increased by 15%.’
The second largest LCC market in Europe is Spain, which has 7.4m international seats this May, compared to 1.9m a decade ago.
At the other end of the scale, the French market is something of an anomaly and has one of the lowest LCC penetrations of the larger European economies.
Just 18% of all domestic and 28% of all international capacity is accounted for by LCCs.
Grant said: ‘The relatively low rate of low-cost capacity offered in the French domestic market is due to the continued strength of Air France, which has 74% of all domestic seats, amounting to 2m seats as of this month. However, domestic LCC seats are on the increase and have recorded a 28% year-on-year rise thanks largely to the addition of 73,000 seats by Volotea.’
For details from OAG, click here.
LCC capacity within Europe … has grown at an average rate of 14% each year, and the market has tripled from just below 10 million seats to just over 30 million.
The table below shows the number of international low cost seats (domestic seats are dealt with separately) available per country, with the UK far ahead (8.8 million seats) even of Spain with 7.4 million seats. From OAG
Although there is nothing new about the pace of growth in the European LCC sector in the last decade, it is interesting to remind ourselves that capacity offered by Legacy carriers has seen only 1% average annual growth in that time, with the overall market volume increasing by only 2.8 million seats, or less than 311,000 seats per year.
LCC capacity within Europe, by contrast, has grown at an average rate of 14% each year, and the market has tripled from just below 10 million seats to just over 30 million. The Top 5 country markets for LCC capacity in Europe are the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany and France, all with over 3 million international LCC seats in May 2013
The UK has the largest LCC market in Europe, with 8.8 million International LCC seats in May 2013, more than double seat capacity of 10 years ago in 2004. The UK’s international LCC capacity saw growth of 15% versus last May – in large part due to significant growth from Ryanair and easyJet who collectively added 779,000 seats compared to last May – more than offsetting the loss of bmibaby’s international capacity of 202,000 last May.
Domestic UK LCC seats will fall by 2% compared to last May, reflecting the withdrawal of bmibaby’s capacity from the market and the new capacity offered by Virgin Atlantic’s Little Red service not being included in the LCC sector definition. UK capacity for Legacy and LCCs will be down 4% in May 2013 as new growth does not match the loss of bmi.
The biggest LCC route by seat capacity is Barcelona-Madrid, operated by Vueling. Spain features prominently in the Top 10 Routes by capacity, with half of them originating there.