France’s Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport reported (17-Jan-2013) passenger numbers increased 0.2% to 8.5 million in 2012 after five years of strong growth from an 8.4% increase in 2007 to a 5.7% rise in 2011. The 0.2% increase compared with 2011 keeps the airport in third place among French airports in terms of passengers, after the Paris airports and Nice Airport. International traffic, which increased 2% to 5.3 million passengers, remained the mainspring for the airport platform's growth, up 2% to 62.2% of total passenger traffic. Domestic traffic fell 1.7% to 3.1 million in 2012. In the domestic market, easyJet continued to perform well and is increasing traffic to the destinations it serves in France. At the same time, however, Air France's reduction in passenger capacity on these same routes, in particular with changes in the types of plane, has had a negative impact on the figures. During the year, LCC traffic accounted for 22% of total traffic after a 4.5% year-on-year increase in LCC traffic. The airport stated the first phase of its terminal one and three extension will be constructed between 2012 and 2016, and by 2020, the airport’s passenger capacity in the new area will reach 10 million. [more – original PR]
Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport pax stabilises in 2012 after 5 years of strong growth, LCC share at 22%
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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.
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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.
Air France-KLM: margin grows, but performance and profit below IAG & Lufthansa airline groups.
The first of Europe's big three legacy airline groups to report results for 2Q2016, Air France-KLM improved its operating margin and still expects higher operating free cash flow for FY2016. However, it remains less profitable than the other two big legacy groups, IAG and Lufthansa, and is still reluctant to give a profit target for FY2016.
Air France-KLM's commentary on the outlook implies that it now expects to make a lower profit this year than previously anticipated, even if this is likely to be higher than in 2015. In effect, this completes a full set of profit warnings from the big three legacy groups, since IAG and Lufthansa have already signalled a lowering of their profit outlook for 2016.
By contrast, LCCs have generally been more positive in their 2Q reporting and outlook (with the notable exception of easyJet). All European airlines have highlighted a weakening outlook for unit revenue, due to industry capacity growth plus geopolitical and macroeconomic risks, but low cost airlines such as Ryanair and Wizz Air appear better placed to cope with this outlook, given their lower unit costs. At this point in the cycle, new Air France-KLM CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac will need to balance growth against productivity.