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Charting the decline of charter Part 1: UK non-scheduled air services reach lowest ever share

The structural decline in the market for non-scheduled (charter) passengers in the UK and across Europe shows no sign of abating. Passenger numbers on non-scheduled services operated by UK airlines fell by two thirds from 2001 to 2016. Across Europe, the share of total flights taken by charter flights more than halved from 2005 to 2016. This drop in demand for charter flights has continued in spite of healthy overall market growth.

The main beneficiaries have been the low cost carriers, with traditional scheduled services also losing market share over the longer term.

However, more recently there is some evidence that non-LCC scheduled services may be fighting back, at least in the UK, while the charter decline continues. This partly reflects a switch by leading charter airlines to operating scheduled services.

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