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LCCs and SkyTeam member airlines continue to grow their share of global aviation

5-Oct-2011

The world's airlines may be feeling the chill winds of economic downturn, but they continue to grow capacity at a rapid clip. Total capacity measured by available seat kilometres (ASKs) will grow by 7.1% this month, according to Innovata. The world's LCCs are, again, growing ahead of the global average, by 8.5%, while SkyTeam Alliance capacity is growing by 18.3%, thanks to the enlargement of the grouping and expansion by its members.

SkyTeam now accounts for 17.8% of worldwide capacity (up 1.7 ppts year-on-year). It still trails Star Alliance's 25.3% share (-1 ppt) but is closing the gap. oneworld has a 13.8% share of ASKs (down 0.1 ppt), while the world's LCCs and un-aligned airlines account for 17% and 26.2% of global aviation, respectively.

LCC vs Unaligned vs Alliances capacity and shares (%) of global aviation: Oct-2010 vs Oct-2011*

          % of Totals  
Alliance Time Series Oct-10 Oct-11 % Change Oct-10 Oct-11 Variance
Oneworld Flights per Week 54,814 56,048 2.3% 9.5% 9.4% -0.1%
  Seats per Week 7,697,791 7,876,262 2.3% 10.7% 10.4% -0.3%
  ASKs per Week 16,906,484,100 17,953,166,869 6.2% 13.9% 13.8% -0.1%
SkyTeam Alliance Flights per Week 82,992 93,863 13.1% 14.4% 15.7% 1.3%
  Seats per Week 10,441,612 12,395,098 18.7% 14.5% 16.3% 1.8%
  ASKs per Week 19,559,252,569 23,133,905,521 18.3% 16.1% 17.8% 1.7%
Star Alliance Flights per Week 147,770 143,734 -2.7% 25.6% 24.1% -1.5%
  Seats per Week 17,729,106 17,599,126 -0.7% 24.6% 23.1% -1.4%
  ASKs per Week 31,916,469,176 32,908,883,784 3.1% 26.3% 25.3% -1.0%
Low Cost Carriers Flights per Week 112,929 121,674 7.7% 19.6% 20.4% 0.8%
  Seats per Week 16,643,500 18,057,727 8.5% 23.1% 23.8% 0.7%
  ASKs per Week 20,176,156,448 22,120,957,913 9.6% 16.6% 17.0% 0.4%
Un-aligned Carriers Flights per Week 177,771 180,961 1.8% 30.8% 30.3% -0.5%
  Seats per Week 19,662,111 20,094,605 2.2% 27.2% 26.4% -0.8%
  ASKs per Week 32,986,522,291 34,036,682,230 3.2% 27.1% 26.2% -1.0%

The total number of flights is growing by just 3.5% this month, according to Innovata, suggesting airlines are flying longer sectors and/or with denser seating configurations or higher load factors. Anecdotal evidence suggests however that load factors are falling. See related report: Tough times ahead as air traffic weakens; declines in freight markets accelerate in Aug-2011: IATA

Worldwide seat numbers are rising 5.3%.

Worldwide capacity: Oct-2010 vs Oct-2011*

  Oct-2010 Oct-2011 % Change
Grand Total Flights per Week 576,276 596,280 3.5%
Grand Total Seats per Week 72,174,120 76,022,818 5.3%
Grand Total ASKs per Week 121,544,884,585 130,153,596,318 7.1%

Air Berlin dropping down the LCC rankings

Southwest remains the world's biggest LCC, followed by Ryanair and easyJet. Air Berlin has been overtaken by JetBlue and Brazil's Gol, as the German carrier slashes capacity by over 15%. See related report: Air Berlin to restructure after disappointing result; CEO resigns

The big upward movers in the LCC list air Indonesia's Lion Air, India's Indigo and Virgin America.

NB: CAPA displays LCC market share growth since 2001 by country or region on the LCC tabs of each country or region page. Type a country into the CAPA Profiles box near the top of this page and click the LCC tab. View the Australia example.

Top 25 LCCs worldwide by capacity (ASKs/week): Oct-2010 vs Oct-2011*

Airline Oct-10 Oct-11 %change World Ranking
Oct-10 Oct-11 Variance
Southwest Airlines 3,076,964,912 3,226,618,793 4.9% 1 1 -
Ryanair 2,190,326,856 2,486,590,031 13.5% 2 2 -
easyJet 1,233,221,449 1,288,686,486 4.5% 3 3 -
JetBlue Airways 1,030,828,767 1,092,818,203 6.0% 5 4 +1
Gol 826,442,380 989,742,347 19.8% 6 5 +1
Air Berlin 1,049,208,272 888,396,343 -15.3% 4 6 -2
AirTran Airways 709,052,171 701,150,223 -1.1% 7 7 -
Thomsonfly 666,608,850 642,662,544 -3.6% 8 8 -
Westjet 579,651,016 617,442,845 6.5% 9 9 -
Jetstar Airways 565,842,758 600,441,430 6.1% 10 10 -
Virgin Australia 545,009,045 575,914,314 5.7% 11 11 -
Lion Airlines 459,890,588 497,254,578 8.1% 14 12 +2
Condor 471,271,133 494,480,655 4.9% 12 13 -1
AirAsia Berhad 468,882,632 491,906,551 4.9% 13 14 -1
Frontier Airlines 447,914,367 433,516,113 -3.2% 15 15 -
Norwegian 362,227,246 431,226,416 19.0% 16 16 -
Indigo 230,266,420 348,208,676 51.2% 22 17 +5
Wizz Air 265,562,424 326,959,348 23.1% 19 18 +1
Virgin America 248,612,784 318,307,264 28.0% 21 19 +2
TUIfly 277,086,724 295,559,030 6.7% 17 20 -3
Vueling Airlines 272,166,013 282,781,697 3.9% 18 21 -3
Volaris 197,459,460 277,235,978 40.4% n/a 22 n/a
Monarch Airlines 227,691,090 271,083,969 19.1% 23 23 -
Spirit Airlines 260,330,282 262,516,065 0.8% 20 24 -4
SpiceJet 189,258,787 251,832,113 33.1% n/a 25 n/a
GRAND TOTAL 16,851,776,427 18,093,332,009 7.4%      

Top 25 movers

The global top 25 airlines list is largely unchanged from last October, with Delta heading the list from American Airlines and United Airlines. Fast-growing Emirates and Lufthansa may surpass United in coming months, though combined with Continental, the US carrier moves to the top of the list.

The fastest growing carrier in the top flight is Turkish Airlines with another 30%+ year-on-year expansion this month.

Global Top 25 Airlines by capacity per week (ASK) – Oct-2010 vs Oct-2011*

 Airline  Oct-10  Oct-11  % change World Ranking 
Oct-10 Oct-11 Variance
Delta Air Lines 7,263,802,076 7,074,091,226 -2.6% 1 1 -
American Airlines 5,112,798,367 5,167,551,309 1.1% 2 2 -
United Airlines 4,448,035,225 4,246,109,374 -4.5% 3 3 -
Emirates 3,680,969,875 4,043,352,538 9.8% 4 4 -
Lufthansa 3,437,336,550 3,817,354,135 11.1% 5 5 -
Continental Airlines 3,335,309,554 3,270,161,139 -2.0% 6 6 -
Air France 3,095,458,098 3,229,233,754 4.3% 7 7 -
Southwest Airlines 3,076,964,912 3,226,618,793 4.9% 8 8 -
British Airways 2,941,171,938 3,075,241,966 4.6% 9 9 -
US Airways 2,649,702,375 2,615,797,026 -1.3% 10 10 -
Ryanair 2,190,326,856 2,486,590,031 13.5% 11 11 -
Cathay Pacific 2,138,627,284 2,426,611,349 13.5% 13 12 +1
China Southern 2,186,995,728 2,424,073,211 10.8% 12 13 -1
Singapore Airlines 2,039,882,722 2,194,358,678 7.6% 14 14 -
Air China 1,898,880,270 2,091,421,175 10.1% 16 15 +1
Qantas Airways 1,940,331,948 2,013,373,300 3.8% 15 16 -1
KLM 1,837,475,461 1,944,362,195 5.8% 18 17 +1
Air Canada 1,868,050,828 1,942,572,731 4.0% 17 18 -1
China Eastern 1,767,937,171 1,910,842,802 8.1% 19 19 -
Korean Air 1,657,885,533 1,873,356,838 13.0% 20 20 -
All Nippon Airways 1,621,978,770 1,742,106,484 7.4% 21 21 -
Turkish Airlines 1,250,364,386 1,642,939,111 31.4% n/a 22 n/a
Qatar Airways 1,369,810,998 1,607,617,980 17.4% n/a 23 n/a
Thai Airways 1,522,711,649 1,580,867,593 3.8% 22 24 -2
Japan Airlines 1,270,811,091 1,516,969,016 19.4% n/a 25 n/a
GRAND TOTAL 65,603,619,666 69,163,573,754 5.4%      

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