Europe’s airports ‘lose’ 40 daily routes; big opportunities for other airlines to snap up!
STOP PRESS: TWIN JET announces it will take over the Lyon-Stuttgart service abandoned by HOP! just one day (1 May) after we reveal it as one of the “lost 40” routes of Europe – also see comments below this article.
While anna.aero loves to celebrate the achievements of airlines who have the foresight, imagination, conviction (and sometimes financial support) to start new routes, it is also well known that airlines also drop routes for a variety of reasons. This week anna.aero has undertaken a detailed analysis at Western European airports of which airport-pairs that were served with at least daily flights in June 2013, are no longer operated in June 2014. The criteria of only analysing routes that were served at least daily in the summer of 2013 means that the number of airport-pairs involved is a manageable 40. These routes could be classified in a variety of different ways but we have decided to group the routes by the type of airline marketing (and operating) the route last year.
Air France drops routes from London City and Paris airports
Amongst Europe’s flag-carriers Air France has been the most active at terminating high frequency routes, dropping three routes from London City (operated by its partner airlines), two from Paris CDG (both operated by its partner HOP!), and its Paris Orly to Istanbul service. Air France still serves Istanbul from Paris CDG. Many of the routes dropped, though marketed by a major airline, were actually operated by partner airlines, often using smaller aircraft which were more suitable for the market.
|Marketing airline||Route||WF||km||Operating airline*||Last operated|
|Air France||London (LCY) – Dundee (DND)||13||583||CityJet||29 Mar 14|
|Air France||London (LCY) – Münster/Osnabrück (FMO)||7||539||CityJet||28 Mar 14|
|Air France||London (LCY) – Nuremberg (NUE)||11||821||CityJet||28 Mar 14|
|Air France||Paris (CDG) – Cologne Bonn (CGN)||7||389||HOP!||29 Mar 14|
|Air France||Paris (CDG) – Pisa (PSA)||13||845||HOP!||29 Mar 14|
|Air France||Paris (ORY) – Istanbul (IST)||7||2248||29 Mar 14|
|British Airways||Billund (BLL) – Stockholm (BMA)||11||661||SUN-AIR||20 Dec 13|
|British Airways||London (LCY) – Barcelona (BCN)||7||1147||BA CityFlyer||24 Jul 13|
|CSA Czech Airlines||Prague (PRG) – Stuttgart (STR)||10||399||31 Aug 13|
|KLM||Amsterdam (AMS) – Manston (MSE)||14||259||Cityhopper||9 Apr 14|
|LOT Polish Airlines||Katowice (KTW) – Munich (MUC)||11||579||25 Oct 13|
|Lufthansa||Düsseldorf (DUS) – Bologna (BLQ)||7||824||eurowings||26 Oct 13|
|Lufthansa||Frankfurt (FRA) – London (LGW)||7||632||26 Oct 13|
|Lufthansa||Frankfurt (FRA) – Tripoli (TIP)||7||1967||13 Apr 14|
|SAS||Stockholm (ARN) – Kokkola (KOK)||12||529||Braathens Regional||6 Sep 13|
|TAP Portugal||Lisbon (LIS) – Milan (LIN)||7||1688||26 Oct 13|
|United Airlines||Istanbul (IST) – Newark (EWR)||7||8093||26 Oct 13|
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for June 2013 and June 2014.
*If different from marketing airline (in June 2013).
The only non-European carrier to drop a daily service from a Western European airport was United Airlines. The Star Alliance member decided to terminate its daily flights from Istanbul Atatürk to its home hub of Newark at the end of the summer 2013 season.
bmi regional and Minoan Air drop routes from UK airports
Regional airlines operating their own routes (rather than on behalf of another airline) continue to find the European market challenging. Two carriers, bmi regional and Minoan Air, each pulled off three routes on which they were the only carriers, and were operating daily flights. bmi regional became an independent airline at the start of the winter 2013 season and started many new routes aimed at the business market. It is no surprise that a number of them failed to deliver the financial performance hoped for.
|Air Dolomiti||Milan (BGY) – Frankfurt (FRA)||12||492||Ended service 15 Sep 13|
|Avies||Hagfors (HFS) – Torsby (TYF)||10||32||Ended service 16 Aug 13|
|Avies||Smeg (EVG) – Mora (MXX)||11||116||Ended service 18 Aug 13|
|Belle Air||Ancona (AOI) – Tirana (TIA)||7||576||Airline ceased operations (Nov 13)|
|bmi regional||Edinburgh (EDI) – Zurich (ZRH)||7||1249||Ended service 26 Oct 13|
|bmi regional||Glasgow (GLA) – Copenhagen (CPH)||7||1070||Ended service 30 Dec 13|
|bmi regional||Manchester (MAN) – Antwerp (ANR)||11||518||Ended service 29 Nov 13|
|Danish Air Transport||Bergen (BGO) – Oslo (RYG)||10||328||Ended service 22 Dec 13|
|Flybe||Cardiff (CWL) – Paris (CDG)||7||497||Ended service 22 Feb 14|
|Flybe Nordic||Stockholm (BMA) – Tallinn (TLL)||12||391||Ended service 21 Apr 14|
|Hex Air||Lyon (LYS) – Rodez (RDZ)||9||251||Ended service 23 Jan 14|
|HOP!||Lyon (LYS) – Stuttgart (STR)||11||454||Ended service 12 Nov 13|
|Krohn Air||Trondheim (TRD) – Molde (MOL)||10||201||Ceased operation in February 2014|
|Minoan Air||London (OXF) – Dublin (DUB)||7||386||Ended service 4 Aug 13|
|Minoan Air||London (OXF) – Edinburgh (EDI)||10||486||Ended service 4 Aug 13|
|Minoan Air||Rome (FCO) – Lugano (LUG)||7||538||Ended service 28 Jul 13|
|NextJet||Copenhagen (CPH) – Jonkoping (JKG)||11||254||Ended service 28 Jun 13|
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for June 2013 and June 2014.|
Minoan Air’s attempt to operate viable commercial services from London Oxford Airport sadly went the way of previous attempts by other carriers, though anna.aero’s Chief Analyst (who lives close to the airport) is still hopeful that another carrier may succeed in the future.
LCCs drop surprisingly few “high-frequency” routes
Although Europe’s LCCs have a reputation for being ruthless when it comes to route-cutting, this usually applies to routes that operate at relatively low frequencies, and often on a seasonal basis. If an LCC has built the route up to daily operations it is relatively rare that the route would be dropped. However, our analysis has revealed six such routes, though in three cases the airline re-allocated the route to a nearby airport.
|easyJet||London (SEN) – Belfast (BFS)||9||576||Ended service on 5 Jan 14|
|Ryanair||London (STN) – Warsaw (WAW)||21||1419||Moved to Warsaw WMI on 30 Sep 13|
|Ryanair||Marseille (MRS) – Paris (BVA)||7||710||Ended service on 5 Nov 13|
|Ryanair||Milan (BGY) – Rome (CIA)||19||489||Moved to Rome FCO on 29 Mar 14|
|transavia.com||Amsterdam (AMS) – Venice (TSF)||7||909||Moved to Venice VCE on 6 Nov 13|
|Vueling||London (LHR) – Florence (FLR)||7||1218||Ended service on 29 Mar 14|
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for June 2013 and June 2014.|
After becoming part of the IAG group of airlines, Vueling appears to have decided to do something else with its valuable Heathrow slots. easyJet’s London Southend to Belfast International service operated for less than two years, having launched in April 2012. Ryanair’s Marseille-Beauvais service started back in the summer of 2008 and has been dropped once before during 2011.