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LCCs, not Lufthansa, restore German aviation to Europe's #2

Premium Analysis

For a while during the COVID-19 pandemic Russia and Turkey were the leading nations in Europe by weekly seats. However, Western Europe's summer recovery has restored the pre-pandemic top three nations to the top, although in a different order. Spain, ranked third before the crisis, is now number one ahead of the previous leaders UK and Germany.

As with the UK, Germany is still at a lower percentage of its 2019 capacity than the European average. Yet it is now back to third, after slumping at one stage to fifth.

Germany's pre-COVID strength was based on international markets, slower to recover than domestic. As it grows towards its 2019 capacity, Germany will surely return to its previous number two place in Europe.

However, one consequence of the pandemic may be that this recovery is LCC-led. Lufthansa Group is unlikely to fall from the top of the rankings by seats in Germany any time very soon, but it is losing market share to airlines like Ryanair and Wizz Air.

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