European LCCs; SkyEurope joins Germanwings in reporting negative growth in April – easyJet passes 40 million mark

With Easter falling in March this year Europe’s LCCs failed to deliver quite such impressive growth rates in April with SkyEurope joining Germanwings in reporting a drop in passenger numbers.

European LCCs: Passenger growth 2008 v 2007
Source: Airline websites
Image: Clickair Tailfins
Rapid growth: In the first quarter of 2007 clickair’s base in Barcelona generated 400,000 passenger but in the first three months of 2008 the figure has jumped to 1.1 million.

Vueling’s year-on-year growth plummeted into single figures for the first time and only Norwegian maintained growth of over 20% thanks to its focus on the more business oriented domestic market.

On a rolling-year basis easyJet finally passed the 40 million mark, which Ryanair reached back in November 2006. During 2008 it is estimated that easyJet and Ryanair between them will carry 100 million passengers, 56 million on Ryanair and 44 million on easyJet.

All the LCCs tracked reported a drop in load factor in April compared to March with the exception of Air Berlin. Only easyJet managed to achieve 80% booked loads in April. SkyEurope’s drop in passenger numbers was accompanied by a drop in load factor, though the airline maintains that it is focussed on maximising revenue on each flight.

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

The addition of data for clickair’s base in Barcelona for the first quarter reveals the effect of the airline’s rapid growth. In the first quarter of 2007 the airline carried 400,000 passengers through its Barcelona base whereas in the first three months of 2008 the figure has jumped to 1.1 million.

New route? New airline? Email us! Let’s all celebrate your new routes. Contact us with photos and route details, and follow us on Instagram for our exclusive daily digest.


  1. jonny says:

    These small carriers cannot continue this massive expansion with oil prices as high as they are ……its well known that emerging carriers need 5-6 years to establish a strong enough base to subsidise losses which are inevitable in times of fierce competition………..they are literally “flying on fumes” as they cannot afford the fuel they are using and soon there will be a climax with carriers dropping multiple routes and frequencies instantly in an effort to control these costs and thats if they are lucky otherwise they will go bust.

Comments are closed