ANALYSIS: Emerging markets drive European capacity

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Airlines continue to increase capacity sharply in Europe’s emerging markets, leading the growth in the region.

Innovata schedules data for October 2013 shows that airlines increased capacity as measured in monthly seats more than a quarter in the Russian domestic market compared with the same month in 2013. Capacity in the Turkish domestic market was lifted even more sharply, rising by one-third.

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Low-cost carriers continue to drive much of the growth in Europe and this is illustrated in some of the sectors with the biggest increases in capacity, including that in Turkey’s domestic market.

In Istanbul, for example, Sabiha Gokcen airport, which is favoured by LCCs, accounts for the three biggest domestic routings – connections to Izmir, Ankara and Antalya. Capacity has grown by 37%, 23% and 55% respectively on these routes over the last year.

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By contrast, capacity was cut in the domestic markets of three European countries – Greece, Italy and Spain – at the heart of austerity challenges. In particular, capacity is down by a fifth in the Spanish domestic market in October compared with a year ago.