UK-Germany aviation: Ryanair moves in

Premium Analysis

The UK and Germany are Europe's two biggest markets by total airline seat capacity. However, the market between these two European aviation giants ranks as only the continent's third largest country pair, after UK-Spain and Germany-Spain.

The UK-Germany market has a solid year-round appeal, but lacks the strong summer seasonal spikes of the two larger country pairs. In summer 2018 the capacity growth on UK-Germany will outpace both UK-Spain and Germany-Spain for the first time in years, but only because the two larger markets are contracting.

There was barely any growth on UK-Germany in 2013 and 2014, but capacity and the number of routes have increased since then. Curiously, however, this growth has been achieved with fewer airlines and airports in this market.

The Lufthansa Group is the leading player on UK-Germany, but its capacity developments have concentrated on transfers from Lufthansa – first to Germanwings and then to Eurowings – and its capacity will be flat this summer. Ryanair is the only significant airline in this market that is growing in summer 2018, although Flybe and bmi regional have also grown rapidly since 2014.

This CAPA analysis suggests that the UK-Germany market offers significant potential for further growth and for increased competition.

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