European islands: high volume of air travel and a variety of airlines

Premium Analysis

Europe has seven island markets listed as separate countries/territories in CAPA and OAG databases for aviation data on capacity and aircraft fleets.

These are the three nations of Cyprus, Iceland and Malta, together with four much smaller markets: three UK crown dependencies Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man, and the Faroe Islands, which are a self-governing region of Denmark.

In all cases, Europe's island markets have a much higher propensity for air travel than other leading aviation markets. The small island territories depend much more on air travel to maintain vital links with the rest of the world. In addition, they have often successfully marketed themselves as popular tourist destinations (and as an aviation connecting hub, in the case of Iceland).

This has made these island markets attractive to airlines with a variety of business models, with no single template applied to all of them.

Local airlines have dominated in the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Guernsey, but with different models. LCCs are highly significant in Malta and in southern Cyprus. Jersey and the Isle of Man have no local airlines but are served by a regional airline, a low cost operator and a legacy airline.

This report examines the size and growth of these markets and considers the airlines that serve them.

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