Virgin Atlantic cancels orders for six A340-600 aircraft - reports
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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.
AirAsia Group fleet analysis: expansion to resume in 2017 with 32 deliveries including 15 new leases
The AirAsia Group is accelerating expansion in 2017 after deciding to lease 15 additional A320ceos which were not previously in its fleet plan. AirAsia now plans to take delivery of 32 A320s in 2017 (11 A320neos and 21 A320ceos) while returning three aircraft, for a net gain of 29 aircraft, marking its biggest expansion since 2013.
The AirAsia Group took delivery of only 10 aircraft in 2016 and originally was planning to take delivery of just 10 aircraft again in 2017. It initially slowed its fleet growth in 2015, with four deliveries, after several years of rapid double digit fleet expansion.
The AirAsia Group’s active fleet grew by only two aircraft in 2016 and shrank by two aircraft in 2015, when aircraft sales, leases outside the group and lease returns are taken into account. Fleet growth peaked in 2013 with 36 aircraft, before initially slowing to 18 aircraft in 2014 as market conditions became more challenging.