Low-cost carriers intensify battle for Europe

Europe’s flag carriers try to keep up with LCC expansion

Airlines in Europe are celebrating the onset of the summer season with more than 500 new routes in the coming weeks. The early arrival of the Easter holidays is also prompting airlines to attract passengers with new destinations. According to anna.aero, as many as 526 new services are starting in the period March 20 to April 8, with Ryanair launching more than 150 of them. This is more than five times as many as the airline in second place, Vueling, which is expanding rapidly from its major base in Barcelona. Many of Ryanair’s new routes are from four new bases in Europe – Billund in Denmark, Karlsruhe-Baden in Germany, Palma de Mallorca in Spain and Wroclaw in Poland. Meanwhile, easyJet, Europe’s second-biggest LCC, is opening a base at London Southend Airport.
Three of Europe’s flag carriers are also launching a significant number of routes – Air France, Estonian Air and Lufthansa. Delta and US Airways are also starting new services to Europe, from New York’s LaGuardia and Washington Reagan Airport, respectively.
[pictured Vueling aircraft at Amsterdam Schiphol; photo by FTDG]