Europe low cost airline ranking: Volotea quietly carves a growth niche

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According to data compiled by CAPA, the share of passengers travelling with Europe's top 30 airline groups that was carried by LCCs increased from 40.6% in 2017 to 42.3% in 2018. Passenger numbers carried by 17 European LCCs grew by 13.2%, compared with 8.5% growth for the overall top 30 groups.

The LCC list can be divided into a leading group of nine with more than 10 million passengers in 2018 and a group of eight smaller airlines. The larger group, headed by Ryanair and easyJet, gets all the attention. The smaller group, however, grew at almost twice the rate of the larger LCCs in 2018.

Europe's fastest growing LCC outside Russia was Volotea, which grew faster than any LCC not owned by another airline group (only Aeroflot's subsidiary Pobeda grew faster). With a strategy placing it between regional airlines and the major LCCs, Volotea has quietly carved out a niche for itself and achieved rapid growth since its 2012 launch.

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