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Europe's low cost airline fleets: size and growth

Premium Analysis

On 21-Jun-2021 easyJet announced a conditional agreement with Airbus to buy 56 A320neo family aircraft for delivery between FY2026 and FY2027. This adds to 113 existing firm orders recorded in the CAPA Fleet Database, but easyJet's focus for its new aircraft is more on replacement of older technology than on growth.

The announcement prompts analysis of the CAPA Fleet Database's records of Europe's low cost airline fleets and their likely growth.

Ryanair Group has 514 aircraft, 59% more than easyJet. Both are much bigger than Europe's second tier independent LCCs, which are similar in size to the legacy groups' LCC subsidiaries. IAG has the biggest narrowbody LCC fleet of the legacy groups, followed by Lufthansa Group, but Air France-KLM's is growing fastest.

Wizz Air plans the fastest growth rate of Europe's LCCs in the medium term, followed by Ryanair, while easyJet's growth plan is more cautious.

Norwegian is growing again, but Jet2.com is now much bigger.

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