In 2020, low cost carriers (LCCs) in Europe had 44.5 percent of the total seat capacity in the region. Despite a difficult year, Ryanair is still the busiest airline group in Europe, transporting 51.7 million passengers in 2020.
European low-cost carriers
Although LCCs' market share in the European aviation industry increased by almost 20 percent in the last decade, there has been a fierce competitive response by the traditional full-service carriers during this period to sustain their market position. For instance, full-service carriers started to offer some alternative cheaper flight options called budget-economy class. Nevertheless, LCCs have a well-advanced cost-minimization strategy so that they can operate at a much lower expense. In 2020, the average cost per passenger of Ryanair and EasyJet was 90 euros. Usually, LCCs operate on a shorter distance, this requires them to have a dispersed airplane fleet across cities rather than having one main hub for all the flights as it is the case for traditional carriers. An example could be that Ryanair had 274 airplanes in Germany in 2020.
European LCC Wizz Air like many other LCCs has a progressive development strategy which enabled it to capture larger market share across Europe. This was ensured by entering new markets which were less explored by other European LCCs such as Eastern Europe. Over the recent decade, the total revenue generated by Wizz Air increased five-folds, reaching over 2.7 billion euros in 2020. In the recent three years, the on-time performance of Wizz Air somewhat deteriorated, down to the lowest level since 2011.
Market share of low-cost carriers in Europe from 2001 to 2020
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Statista. (December 31, 2020). Market share of low-cost carriers in Europe from 2001 to 2020 [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved June 26, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1117218/low-cost-carrier-market-share-europe/
Statista. "Market share of low-cost carriers in Europe from 2001 to 2020." Chart. December 31, 2020. Statista. Accessed June 26, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1117218/low-cost-carrier-market-share-europe/
Statista. (2020). Market share of low-cost carriers in Europe from 2001 to 2020. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: June 26, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1117218/low-cost-carrier-market-share-europe/
Statista. "Market Share of Low-cost Carriers in Europe from 2001 to 2020." Statista, Statista Inc., 31 Dec 2020, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1117218/low-cost-carrier-market-share-europe/
Statista, Market share of low-cost carriers in Europe from 2001 to 2020 Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1117218/low-cost-carrier-market-share-europe/ (last visited June 26, 2022)