Turkish Airlines chairman Hamdi Topçu stated the carrier has accelerated studies to acquire LOT Polish Airlines following an earlier request on the subject by the Polish Government. As reported by Today's Zaman, Mr Topçu said he met with Polish Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak in Dec-2011 to discuss the privatisation of LOT, with the Minister asking Turkish Airlines if "we would like to acquire the carrier". Mr Topçu said the carrier would meet again to evaluate the sale. “Following our studies in the market we have finally decided LOT would be a profitable option.… We hope this will be a win-win operation to benefit both sides,” he noted.
Turkish Airlines could acquire LOT Polish Airlines
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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.
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.
Airports - subject as always to the vicarious uncertainty of airline fortunes
CAPA’s 2016 outlook was against a background of unusually high levels of profitability for airlines.