European airline consolidation speculation returns as outlook slips
EasyJet's raising of fresh equity, plus news that it has rejected an unsolicited takeover offer by Wizz Air, has revived speculation of European airline consolidation.
The European market is fragmented: the top seven groups have 58% of intra-European seats, compared with 87% for the intra-North America top seven.
Ultra-LCCs and Aeroflot Group now have the highest percentage of 2019 intra-Europe capacity, highlighting the advantages of very low costs and large domestic markets. Possessing neither, easyJet has one of the lowest percentages.
Meanwhile, total seat numbers in Europe are 34.4% below 2019 levels in the week of 13-Sep-2021, almost stable on last week, but the negative side of stable (a slip of 0.3ppts) and the second week of sliding after five months of a positive trend.
Europe remains in fourth place in the regional capacity recovery ranking. The Middle East, where seat capacity is down by 41.1% versus 2019, remains at the bottom. This week Asia Pacific is down by 39.2%, Africa by 32.5%, Latin America by 24.8%, and North America by 20.1%.
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