Long haul low cost airlines slowly start to grow in Asia-Europe market

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Low cost airlines are slowly starting to penetrate the Asia-Europe market. Widebody LCCs have launched nine Asia-Europe routes over the past two years and there are now five long haul LCCs competing in the market, compared to only two in mid 2015.

At least three more LCC groups are preparing to enter the Asia-Europe market over the next two years: WOW, AirAsia X and Lion. WOW will become the sixth LCC in the Asia-Europe market in Dec-2018 as it launches services from Reykjavik to Delhi. Thai AirAsia is looking at launching services to Eastern Europe in 2019 while Thai Lion Air is aiming to launch services to Western Europe in 2020.

However, LCCs only account for 2% of Asia-Europe capacity and are not likely to capture more than a 5% share in the foreseeable future. Intense competition from full service airlines, including Gulf airlines, and rising fuel prices make the Asia-Europe market a challenging proposition for long haul low cost entrants.

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