In 2017 the Lufthansa Group has reclaimed from Ryanair the title of Europe's biggest airline group by passenger numbers.
Lufthansa's 18.6% increase, to 130 million passengers, was fuelled by its Jan-2017 acquisition of Brussels Airlines and strong growth by Eurowings (which benefited from airberlin's demise). Wizz Air was the fastest-growing among the top 20 groups, followed by a resurgent TAP Air Portugal.
Ryanair (whose growth is, by contrast with Lufthansa's, organic) would have kept the number one position – won for the first time in 2016 – if it had not trimmed its winter growth to address operational problems. Even then, the Irish LCC still grew at 10.3%, to 128.8 million passengers, and comfortably remained Europe's biggest individual airline.
IAG remained third among airline groups, growing by 4.1% to 104.8 million passengers, and Air France-KLM retained fourth position, with 98.7 million – an increase of 5.7%. The next three groups – the LCC easyJet (81.6 million passengers, up 9.6%), Turkish Airlines (68.6 million, up 9.3%) and Aeroflot Group (estimated 50 million, up 16%) – also held their 2016 positions, completing a top seven that is still some way ahead of the rest.
This CAPA report ranks Europe's top 20 airline groups by passenger numbers in 2017, and also includes a ranking of the top 20 individual airline brands.