What’s working; what’s not. Airlines in Europe

Our summary of traffic results for the leading airlines (not, where relevant, airline groups) in Europe, excerpts from the current editions of WYSK:What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, over January-July.


Seat sales (newly available for British; Jan-Jun for Easy; our estimates for Ryan), in alphabetical order: Air France (once again available separated from KLM) +4%; British +3%; Easyjet +13%; Lufthansa +3%; Ryanair +8%.


Notes (on notable details; on whole-group for Air France (=AFKL), British (=ICAG), Lufthansa (=LHG)):


-AFKL +5%. Unusually, KLM, at +2%, is slower than the group’s biggest airline AF. The group’s no-frills-airline Transavia is not growing fast enough, at +7%, and slowing. Europe’s two NFA giants – Easy, Ryan – are both growing faster.


-ICAG +6%. Iberia at +7%, is still growing much faster than the group’s biggest airline British, although it is still only half its size. AerLingus in trouble, +1% (is that Brexit-fear related as Ireland expected to hurt hardest in the 27 remaining EU markets?). Vueling +6%. The group also now publishes data for its newish mid-range NFA Level (sic). Hard to interpret results, which were +392%. It is still only 10% the size of AFKL’s Transavia, for instance, and its 82% seat factor needs to be closer to 90%.


-Easyjet. Disappointing (and surprising) that it now publishes only Q figures. Growth looks good, but loads down about 2pts.


-LHG +3%. Austrian +6%, Lufthansa +3%, Swiss +6%. LHG now hides performance at Brussels and Eurowings (combining them), possibly because EW is reportedly not doing as well as LHG hoped – Brussels (our calculation) +4%, Eurowings (our calculation) flat.


-Ryanair. Rounding its results sometimes causes distortion, or prompts questions. Lauda grew from 0.5mn to 0.6mn in the month; is that really a 20% growth, or would precise figures show something different? With Ryan itself at +8%, the group was +9%.


-Others of note: Virgin at a good +9% YT May, but that follows a bounding start to the year; monthly figures for the latest three months were +6% +6% +5%. Similar pattern at Turkish +5% YT July, but -5% +4% -4%. Wonders at Wizz; still small (25% the size of Ryan), but still growing well – +12% for the month, +15% YTD, and we estimate a 95% seat factor.




The Fox. Remember, I’m an industry expert in the parallel world.

*Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.  Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.