Europe aviation: low cost airline discount narrows, but remains significant

Premium Analysis

Price inflation for passenger air travel in the European Union and the UK eased in Jan-2023, according to official statistics. However, prices continued to grow year-on-year at double digit percentage rates after many months.

As a result, the price of air travel has risen considerably above 2019 levels.

These official data are reflected in revenue per passenger data for Europe's leading airlines, according to CAPA's analysis of the accounts of Lufthansa Group, IAG, Air France-KLM, Ryanair, Wizz Air and easyJet from 2019 to 2022. For all of these airlines, revenue per passenger in 2022 was above 2019 by double digit percentages.

On short/medium haul routes in Europe – the market where the legacy airlines and the LCCs overlap – the available data suggests that LCCs still enjoy a significant discount to legacy airline prices, albeit a narrower one than in 2019.

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