One airline “breaks the status quo to find its own market niche”
The 20 airline brands that dominate the global airline market have been ranked by the market research company Euromonitor, with US airline Delta heading the list. From Europe, BA and Lufthansa feature in the top 10 and Air France and Ryanair appear in the top 20.
While scheduled airline brands continue to take the higher spots in the list, low-cost carriers continue to disrupt air travel in 2017, Euromonitor says.
“This is a trend we expect to see continue into the future, as the a la carte pricing model embraces the appeal of affordability with the personalisation megatrend, allowing travellers to pick and choose additional product offerings and services based on their budget,” it adds.
But in the budget carrier segment there are airlines that are breaking the status quo and finding their own market niche. Southwest, for example, has never charged baggage fees despite being regarded as a budget operator.
Southwest recorded $2.8 billion in ancillary revenue in 2015, up from $1.8 billion in 2014, becoming the biggest global generator of ancillary revenues among low-cost airlines, leaving Ryanair behind.
“These results are even more impressive given the fact that the airline does not charge for the first two checked bags,” Euromonitor says.
Aside from being founded on low fares, Southwest Airlines seeks to stand out from the competition with a strong focus on customer service. It consistently has the highest customer satisfaction and the best on-time performance of all the major US airlines. The question is, “Can low-cost long-haul players emulate the same approach and maintain profitability?” Euromonitor asks.
The 20 airline brands that dominate the global airline market:
2. United Airlines
3. Southwest Airlines
5. British Airways
6. Air China
8. China Southern Airlines
9. Saudi Arabian Airlines
10. China Eastern Airlines
12. Air Canada
13. Air France
16. United Express
17. Emirates Airlines
19. Hainan Airlines
20. Korean Air
Source: Euromonitor from trade sources/national statistics
Note: Ranking determined using 2017 data for retail value market share percentage