Europe's low cost airline growth: independents vs budget brands of legacies

Premium Analysis

Air France-KLM's Transavia has grown its capacity relative to 2019 faster than Vueling and Eurowings, which are the other low cost brands of the three big legacy groups in Europe

Moreover, Transavia's growth has outpaced that of all the leading independent low cost airlines in Europe. In 2022 it flew 127% of its 2019 capacity, a higher percentage than all of the others.   

Nevertheless, Europe's three leading independent LCC groups – Ryanair, easyJet and Wizz Air – remain significantly larger by absolute seat numbers than the legacy group low cost subsidiaries.

Furthermore, their collective growth compared with 2019 has been stronger, reaching 98% of 2019 capacity in 2022 versus 90% for the legacy subsidiaries in aggregate. Both categories of LCC outpaced the total European market, which reached 82% last year.

This pattern is set to continue in 1H2023, with the three leading independent LCCs and the three low cost subsidiaries of the legacy groups scheduling more than 100% of their 1H2019 capacity (with the independents still outpacing the subsidiaries), while the total Europe market is projected at 91%.

Become a CAPA Member to access Analysis Reports

This CAPA Premium Analysis Report is 1,548 words.
Become a CAPA Member

Our Analysis Reports are only available to CAPA Members. CAPA Membership provides exclusive access to in-depth insights on the latest developments in the aviation and travel industry, developed by our team of dedicated analysts located in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

Each report offers a fresh perspective on the latest industry trends and is available online or via the CAPA mobile app, with customisable alerts to help you stay informed and identify new business opportunities.

CAPA Membership also provides access to our full suite of tools, including a tailored selection of more than 1,000 News Briefs every week and comprehensive data and analysis on thousands of companies around the world.