- Passenger numbers: 795,240, -16.5%;
- Domestic: 306,518, -26.4%;
- International: 488,722-8.9%.
Athens pax traffic down 16.5% in Feb-2011
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Scoot selects Athens as first route in Europe; head to head against intense Gulf competition
Singapore Airlines' (SIA) medium/long haul low cost subsidiary Scoot has confirmed Athens as its first European destination. Scoot plans to commence four weekly flights between Singapore and Athens in Jun-2017, using 329-seat Boeing 787-8s.
Scoot will need to rely heavily on connections beyond Singapore, particularly to Australia, to make the route viable. Australia has a large Greek diaspora. Scoot will not face any LCC competition from Australia or Southeast Asia to Greece but will need to overcome aggressive competition from Gulf carriers – something that full service Singapore Airlines has struggled with. But Scoot's entry pricing is very aggressive.
High load factors will be required to offset low yields but Scoot could struggle to maintain high load factors on a year-round basis, given the seasonality of the Athens market. Scoot could face similar challenges in the other European markets that it is preparing to launch in 2017.
Ryanair's 117million pax in 2016 tops European airline groups. The first time an LCC topped rankings
For the first time ever in Europe, in 2016 a low cost airline carried more passengers than any other airline or airline group, as Ryanair's 117 million passengers pushed Lufthansa Group's 110 million into second place. Ryanair had beaten Lufthansa itself, but not the whole Lufthansa Group. IAG's first full year of including Aer Lingus helped it to take third place from Air France-KLM. Europe's number two LCC, easyJet, was ranked fifth.
The big five can be expanded into a big seven to include Turkish Airlines and the Aeroflot Group, although these two had contrasting growth rates in 2016. A chasing pack of middle sized airline groups includes three LCCs (Norwegian, Pegasus and Wizz Air) and three legacy airlines with varying challenges to establishing sustainable profitability (SAS, Air Berlin Group and Alitalia).
Most of the faster growing airline groups in the top 20 are LCCs and the main growth drivers for Europe's big three legacy groups are their LCC subsidiaries. Just outside the top 20 are some fast growing legacy airlines in Eastern Europe, demonstrating the potential there. Nevertheless, unless there is a big merger or acquisition, Ryanair looks set to remain at number one for some time.