This is the conclusion of an interactive study by Europair, a leading Spanish air broker, which analyzes traffic data in 17 European markets based on their relevance in the aviation sector. The data come from Eurocontrol and represent international departures and domestic traffic registered over a one-year period (September 2016 to August 2017). In conclusion, the study highlights that legacy airlines are still holding the upper hand in these 17 countries, with a 59% market share.
“The European air transport scene has changed radically since the deregulation that took place between 1993 and 1997. These changes enabled the creation of “real” competitors that challenged the mostly state-owned legacy airlines of the 90s, which were thus stimulated to restructure (most of them were privatized) and face the appearance of multiple new competitors, specialised in different market segments such as air cargo, regional flying, charter and low cost, says Luis Matera, Business Intelligence analyst of Europair.
It is evident that LCCs have been very agile and managed to gain considerable relevance while adapting to the ever-changing air transport market. In some countries their contribution has been bigger, especially in markets with a high component of leisure travel (both outgoing and incoming).
Low cost traffic and tourism
This has been particularly true for Spain in 2017, where the majority of the record-breaking numbers of incoming tourists (more than 10.5m in July, the highest number ever) are travelling by LCCs.
The main traffic flows are to/from the UK, Germany, Italy and France, the four big countries that, together with Spain, represent more than 50% of Europe’s total air traffic.
If we compare the evolution of the number of incoming tourists with the legacy and low cost air traffic, we can see how numbers have been growing relentlessly since 2010. Nevertheless, 2012-2013 represents a turning point in this evolution, as legacy airlines lost their traditional market domination after 10 years of continuous growth by LCCs, who have been able to introduce a new disruptive business model in this sector.
However, it is worth mentioning that legacy airlines have then been able to adapt and, while they haven’t been able to recover their lost market share, they are now holding their positions and growing in parallel with low cost traffic.
Set up in 1994, Europair is a leading Spain-based air charter broker specialized in the organization of charter flights to any destination in the world. Europair searches the market for the solution best suited to the specific needs of each client, applying strict suppliers’ selection criteria. Europair advises its clients in the selection of the aircraft model and takes care of the organization and follow-up of the flight. Europair’s multilingual team of experienced aviation specialists is equipped with the latest technology and know-how to take the client through all the steps of flight preparation and personalization. The air charter broker has its offices in Madrid and Palma de Mallorca as well as a representation in Toulouse.
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