Rapid low-cost flight growth in Copenhagen

Europe sees very varied picture of low-cost seats

The situation of low-cost airlines in Europe varies greatly, according to new figures from Amadeus. With regard to seat capacity, Warsaw grew by 63% in the first six months of 2013, while Madrid showed a decrease of 27%. Copenhagen is the driving force behind growth in the Nordic region, with a growth rate of 28%.

The new stats from Amadeus’ tool Air Traffic show that the number of seats available on low-cost carriers is booming globally. Seat capacity in the first half of the year increased by 6.8% compared with the same period in 2012. The figures show strong growth in Asia (28.7%) and the Middle East (17.7%), but the increase in Europe and North America is far more moderate (0.8% and 1.5%, respectively).

In Europe, the picture is one of contrasts. In southern Europe capacity is diminishing, with Madrid seeing the biggest decline followed by Athens and Rome (-17% and -14%, respectively).

That’s in stark contrast to much of eastern and northern Europe. Besides Warsaw’s big leap (low-cost flights there now account for 27% of the city’s total capacity), Copenhagen shows a strong growth of 28% along with Istanbul by 19%.

However, with nearly 15 million available seats in the low-end segment, London is in a secure first place in the world. This is around 1.5 times more seats than the next largest city for low cost, Sao Paulo. Yet growth is more important for cities like Jakarta (44%) and Kuala Lumpur (15%), compared to just 3% growth in London.

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[pictured: Pier C, Copenhagen Airport; courtesy Copenhagen Airports A/S]

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