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North Atlantic aviation: low cost airlines are resurgent

Premium Analysis

In the week of 16-Jan-2023 the North Atlantic market is at 95% of its seat capacity of the equivalent week of 2019. However, the low cost segment has reached only 45%. 

Nevertheless, this masks a renewed dynamism in the Europe to North America low cost market, which has undergone a reboot since the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There have been four new entrants since 2021: JetBlue, Eurowings Discover, Norse Atlantic and PLAY.

Three low cost operators left the North Atlantic market in 2019 and 2020: WOW air, Norwegian and Eurowings.

Low cost seat share on the North Atlantic is projected at more than 4% in the first six months of 2023, only two years after falling to zero. During the first phase of low cost disruption from 2013 it took four years for LCC share to exceed 4%, in 2017, before reaching a peak of more than 8% in 2018.

LCC gains in seat share are mainly at the expense of non-aligned airlines. However, there are also signs that the immunised North Atlantic joint ventures are starting to suffer some erosion of their share.

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