Icelandair Group int'l pax numbers up 9% in Sep-2013
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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.
Keflavik Airport – now both Icelandair and WOW are pushing growth higher, with more to come
Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport is growing rapidly as it handles an ever-increasing demand both to visit the country and to transit it. Both those options are supported by additional services introduced by Icelandair and its fledgling rival WOW Air, together with non-Icelandic airlines, as the impact of the recession recedes.
Iceland appears to have cornered the market in niche tourism and hub/spoke transfer across the Atlantic, to the extent that its larger Nordic region peer airports might learn a thing or two.
But even such well organised airports fall short of perfection. There are questions around the speed at which additional infrastructure will be provided, about who will operate it, seasonality, whether the lack of alliance activity is a good or bad thing, and punctuality levels.
In common with other CAPA airport profiles this report examines the airport by way of several sets of metrics.