Europe's leading aviation markets: Italy and Alitalia underperform

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In Italy, local airlines have a lower seat share than in any other major European market. Moreover, Italy is one of only two countries in Western Europe's top 10 where the leading airline is not indigenous: Ryanair leads in both Italy and Spain. However, in Spain, number two Vueling and number three Iberia are both part of IAG and their combined seat share is more than Ryanair's. That leaves Alitalia with the most fragile market position of a national airline in a major market.

Italy is firmly among Western Europe's top five countries by population, GDP, tourist arrivals and airline seat numbers. However, its GDP per capita and hence, the propensity for air travel as measured by airline seats per capita, are both low within this group of five.

Italy is the smallest of Western Europe's top five aviation markets by seat numbers, behind the UK, Germany, Spain and France. It is also the only one without an airline ranking among Europe's top 10 by 2018 passenger numbers: Alitalia ranks 15th by this measure.

On 2-May-2019 Alitalia approaches the second anniversary of its extraordinary administration and, on 31-Mar-2019, yet another deadline slipped for securing its future with new investors.

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