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Lufthansa outgrowing Emirates again this September. World's leading airlines in growth mode

6-Sep-2011

The world's airlines are scheduling some 4.9% more seats this September than the same month in 2010, translating into a 6.7% increase in ASKs. These are similar to the capacity increases witnessed in the peak summer month of August, suggesting the leading airlines are confident about growth prospects. Delta Air Lines remains the world's biggest carrier this month, despite trimming its ASKs by 2.1% year-on-year. United (-4.3%) and US Airways (-2.2%) are the only other carriers in the Top 25 that are reducing their capacity year-on-year. United-Continental however is the world's biggest combination, maintaining a margin of some 5.5% above Delta in terms of ASKs.

Worldwide capacity: Sep-2010 vs Sep-2011*

  Sep-2010 Sep-2011 % Change
Grand Total Flights per Week 584,641 603,105 3.2%
Grand Total Seats per Week 73,577,680 77,191,423 4.9%
Grand Total ASKs per Week 124,490,277,366 132,865,776,892 6.7%

Top 25 movers

Expansion is again led by Turkish Airlines (+30.8%), although that carrier showed some growing pains in its latest financial report.

Emirates (+7.3%) moved ahead of United Airlines this month, while its hub, Dubai, looks set to become the world's second biggest international airport by seats later this year, leapfrogging Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Paris Charles de Gaulle. Lufthansa however is outpacing its Middle East rival again this month, growing its capacity (ASKs) by 11.1%.

Double-digit expansion by Cathay Pacific and Ryanair moved them up the rankings, at the expense of the slower growing China Southern.

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

        World Ranking  
Airline Sep-10 Sep-11 % Change Sep-10 Sep-11 Variance
Delta Air Lines 6,334,268,848 6,198,750,464 -2.1% 1 1 -
American Airlines 4,732,809,204 4,809,657,860 1.6% 2 2 -
Emirates 3,698,797,562 3,970,493,220 7.3% 4 3 +1
United Airlines 3,761,349,464 3,597,990,567 -4.3% 3 4 -1
Lufthansa 3,172,258,521 3,523,657,125 11.1% 5 5 -
Southwest Airlines 3,065,754,312 3,180,813,256 3.8% 6 6 -
Air France 2,888,074,514 3,039,544,059 5.2% 7 7 -
British Airways 2,872,126,551 3,020,495,503 5.2% 8 8 -
Continental Airlines 2,741,084,467 2,943,073,869 7.4% 9 9 -
Ryanair 2,195,548,170 2,481,604,750 13.0% 12 10 +2
Cathay Pacific 2,166,190,769 2,434,636,859 12.4% 13 11 +2
China Southern Airlines 2,248,802,290 2,370,397,116 5.4% 10 12 -2
Singapore Airlines 2,033,248,588 2,196,041,286 8.0% 14 13 +1
US Airways 2,230,795,465 2,182,131,975 -2.2% 11 14 -3
Air China 1,936,505,945 2,153,112,984 11.2% 15 15 -
Air Canada 1,932,073,640 1,988,329,317 2.9% 16 16 -
Qantas Airways 1,883,575,001 1,941,855,084 3.1% 17 17 -
China Eastern Airlines 1,784,077,530 1,934,072,617 8.4% 18 18 -
Korean Air Lines 1,651,587,598 1,890,079,792 14.4% 20 19 +1
KLM 1,733,880,834 1,854,449,970 7.0% 19 20 -1
Turkish Airlines 1,281,858,076 1,676,522,457 30.8% n/a 21 n/a
Thai Airways 1,495,284,990 1,585,536,791 6.0% 22 22 -
Qatar Airways 1,527,938,916 1,571,452,351 2.8% 21 23 -2
TAM 1,395,191,397 1,466,255,237 5.1% n/a
24 n/a
easyJet 1,375,832,973 1,399,990,809 1.8% n/a 25 n/a
GRAND TOTAL 62,138,915,626 65,410,945,320 5.3%    

LCCs and SkyTeam growing

The world's low-cost carriers (LCC) and SkyTeam Alliance members have grown their share of global aviation this month relative to the same time last year.

LCCs have increased their share of global aviation (in terms of seats per week) from 22.9% in Sep-2010 to 23.8% in Sep-2011, while SkyTeam's share has risen 1.4 ppts to 15.8%. Star remains the leading alliance, with a 23% share of total seats (down 1.3 ppts year-on-year), while oneworld's share continues to diminish, falling 0.4 ppts to 10.3%.

See related report: Profitable Hainan Airlines 'still single'; Driving international expansion organically

The unaligned carriers command a 27.1% share of global aviation, down 0.6 ppts year-on-year, according to Innovata schedule data.

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

          % of Totals  
Alliance
Sep-10 Sep-11 % Change Sep-10 Sep-11 Variance
Oneworld Flights per Week 55,402 56,546 2.1% 9.5% 9.4% -0.1%
  Seats per Week 7,882,659 7,947,679 0.8% 10.7% 10.3% -0.4%

ASKs per Week 17,398,539,731 18,166,187,120 4.4% 14.0% 13.7% -0.3%
SkyTeam Alliance Flights per Week 83,968 93,361 11.2% 14.4% 15.5% 1.1%
  Seats per Week 10,579,748 12,212,902 15.4% 14.4% 15.8% 1.4%

ASKs per Week 19,803,578,474 22,698,827,817 14.6% 15.9% 17.1% 1.2%
Star Alliance Flights per Week 148,833 144,749 -2.7% 25.5% 24.0% -1.5%
  Seats per Week 17,909,207 17,777,733 -0.7% 24.3% 23.0% -1.3%

ASKs per Week 32,398,951,584 33,413,662,993 3.1% 26.0% 25.1% -0.9%
Low Cost Carriers Flights per Week 113,594 123,353 8.6% 19.4% 20.5% 1.0%
  Seats per Week 16,869,022 18,370,596 8.9% 22.9% 23.8% 0.9%

ASKs per Week 20,477,445,664 22,600,866,375 10.4% 16.4% 17.0% 0.6%
Un-Aligned Flights per Week 182,844 185,096 1.2% 31.3% 30.7% -0.6%
  Seats per Week 20,337,044 20,882,513 2.7% 27.6% 27.1% -0.6%

ASKs per Week 34,411,761,913 35,986,232,587 4.6% 27.6% 27.1% -0.6%

Little change at the top of the LCC rankings

The world's LCCs are growing their seating capacity this month by 8.9% and ASKs by 10.4% year-on-year. Again, there is little change at the top of the world LCC rankings. Mexico's Volaris (+45.6%) has pipped India's Indigo this month to the mantle of the fastest growing LCC in the list. Indigo's ASKs are rising 43.9% in Sep-2011 - the same month as it launches international services.

Virgin America is also growing strongly, while Spirit is one of just two carriers on the list that are shrinking capacity from the same time last year. 12 of the top 25 LCCs are growing capacity at rates above 10% this month.

Southwest remains the world's biggest LCC, followed by Ryanair. easyJet is third, followed by JetBlue and Air Berlin.

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): Sep-2010 vs Sep-2011*

        Rankings    
Airline Sep-10 Sep-11 % Change Sep-10 Sep-11 Variance
Southwest Airlines 3,065,754,312 3,180,813,256 3.8% 1 1 -
Ryanair 2,195,548,170 2,481,604,750 13.0% 2 2 -
easyJet 1,375,832,973 1,399,990,809 1.8% 3 3 -
JetBlue Airways 1,001,716,217 1,085,192,246 8.3% 4 4 -
Air Berlin 902,685,168 990,242,375 9.7% 5 5 -
Gol 837,970,615 966,776,797 15.4% 6 6 -
Thomsonfly 760,083,660 783,869,359 3.1% 7 7 -
AirTran Airways 650,895,647 651,835,476 0.1% 8 8 -
Jetstar Airways 580,063,996 644,825,253 11.2% 9 9 -
Westjet 567,575,632 615,265,136 8.4% 10 10 -
Condor 487,913,368 524,697,281 7.5% 12 11 +1
Virgin Australia 547,162,328 515,075,414 -5.9% 11 12 -1
Lion Airlines 436,678,006 492,320,299 12.7% 14 13 +1
AirAsia Berhad 471,326,678 491,906,551 4.4% 13 14 -1
Norwegian 374,204,403 425,917,621 13.8% 15 15 -
Frontier Airlines 312,532,876 355,233,684 13.7% 16 16 -
Wizz Air 305,731,457 347,523,288 13.7% 17 17 -
Indigo 230,266,420 331,273,871 43.9% 22 18 +4
Virgin America 227,453,464 309,347,985 36.0% 23 19 +4
Vueling Airlines 297,317,356 302,186,330 1.6% 18 20 -2
Monarch Airlines 246,327,010 301,947,960 22.6% 21 21 -
TUIfly 276,606,142 297,051,269 7.4% 19 22 -3
Volaris 183,661,871 267,465,905 45.6% 24 23 +1
SpiceJet 182,592,380 253,450,287 38.8% n/a 24 n/a
Spirit Airlines 251,253,087 249,814,507 -0.6% 20 25 -5
GRAND TOTAL 16,769,153,236 18,265,627,707 8.9%      

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