France betters Europe's airline recovery, led by Transavia and rival LCCs

Premium Analysis

In 2022 France has run ahead of Europe as a whole in the trajectory of its capacity recovery from COVID-19. Europe's number six aviation market by seats is at 92% of its 2019 capacity in the week of 22-Aug-2022, versus a Europe-wide level of 89% for Europe overall. Compared with the other large Western European markets, France is ahead of the UK (85%), but just behind Spain and Italy (both 94%).

Air France-KLM has pushed its capacity to higher percentages of 2019 levels than the other two major European legacy groups.

This owes much to the expansion of its low cost brand Transavia France, now freed from former restrictions on its growth imposed by a deal with Air France pilots. Transavia France is already operating comfortably more capacity than at this time in 2019. So, too, are the competitor LCCs Ryanair, Volotea and Wizz Air.

France is set to remain ahead of the pace of Europe's overall capacity recovery, led mainly by LCCs.

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