It has been a while since an ambitious, well-funded, all-new low-cost airline took to the skies of Europe, but that’s what happened at 08:00 on Thursday 5 April at Venice’s Marco Polo Airport when Volotea’s first flight took off bound for Palermo with 105 passengers on board. Promoting itself as “the airline for Europe’s small and mid-sized cities”, and formed by the original founders of Spain’s Vueling (Carlos Muñoz and Lázaro Ros), the airline has already announced an astonishing 76 routes for this summer to be flown by a fleet of seven 125-seat 717s located at three bases; three in Venice, two in Nantes and two in Ibiza. To operate so many routes with so few aircraft means that the average frequency of the airline’s routes is just 2.4 flights per week.
France, Italy and Spain dominate network
With one base in each of France, Italy and Spain, it is no surprise that these three countries dominate the airline’s route network. Analysis of the location of all the airports involved in the airline’s 76 routes reveals just how dominant these three countries are with Italy (52 routes from Italian airports) just edging Spain (50 routes from Spanish airports).
A total of 10 countries are currently announced to be served by Volotea, but five of these have just a single route. In terms of leading country-pairs, the airline is planning 14 domestic routes in Spain, 13 domestic routes in Italy and a further 11 routes connecting airports in Spain with airports in Italy. Of the 14 country-pairs served, half of them have just a single route.
53 airports to welcome Volotea flights; 15 in Spain, 14 in Italy
A total of 53 airports across Europe have so far been successful in attracting Volotea services. Spain leads with 15, followed by Italy with 14 and France with 10.
|Country||Airports (number of routes)|
|Czech Republic||Prague (1)|
|France||Ajaccio (2), Bastia (2), Biarritz (2), Bordeaux (7), Lille (3), Metz/Nancy (1), Nantes (14), Perpignan (1), Strasbourg (2), Toulon (2)|
|Greece||Corfu (1), Heraklion (1), Kos (1), Mykonos (1), Rhodes (1), Santorini (1), Thessaloniki (1)|
|Italy||Alghero (1), Ancona (2), Bari (2), Brindisi (2), Cagliari (3), Genoa (1), Lampedusa (1), Milan Bergamo(1), Olbia (3), Palermo (8), Reggio Calabria (1), Trieste (1), Venice Marco Polo (24), Verona (2)|
|Portugal||Lisbon (1), Porto (1)|
|Spain||Alicante (1), Asturias (2), Bilbao (1), Granada (2), Ibiza (15), Mahon (5), Malaga (4), Palma de Mallorca (6), Santander (2), Santiago de Compostela (3), Seville (1), Valencia (2), Valladolid (1), Vigo (2), Zaragoza(3)|
|Source: Analysis of anna.aero new route database. Bases shown in bold.|
The airports with the most routes this summer are the three bases with Venice Marco Polo (24 routes) leading Ibiza (15) and Nantes (14). After that come Palermo (eight routes), Bordeaux (seven routes) and Palma de Mallorca (with six routes). There are currently no services announced to any airports in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, or Scandinavia.