Germanwings’ traffic down as other Euro LCCs continue to surge ahead

Europe’s leading LCCs continue to show robust growth in the first quarter of 2008, with the notable exception of Germanwings.

Chart: European LCCs: Passenger growth 2008 v 2007
Source: Airline websites

Even Vueling has reduced its year-on-year growth to a more manageable 30%, in stark contrast to its performance in 2007. easyJet’s figures from February onwards include passenger numbers from its new acquisition GB Airways.

Chart: European LCCs: Monthly load factors 2008
Source: Airline websites

No airline managed to report load factors over 75% in January and only easyJet managed 85% or better in either February or March. The two most financially-challenged airlines in these graphs, SkyEurope and Vueling, had the worst load factors, though both will claim that they are focusing on driving revenue up by improving yields, which will have a negative impact on load factor.

SkyEurope’s load factors in particular are some 15-20 percentage points lower than they were in the first quarter of 2007, reflecting its shift in business model as it pulled out of Budapest and Krakow and focused on becoming a thorn in Austrian’s side at Vienna, and a rival to CSA in Prague.

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