Austrian still has no competition on half of its routes; but LCCs have 22% of Vienna capacity

Image: Austrian Airlines
While Austrian Airlines would like to enter a strategic partnership with another carrier to help secure its long-term future, it also says it could survive as a ‘stand-alone’ airline with a significantly reduced fleet and network.

Logos: VIE and Austrian AirlinsAustrian Airlines has made it clear that it would like to enter a strategic partnership with another airline to help secure its long-term future. However, it has also stated that it could survive as a ‘stand-alone’ airline, but only with a significant reduction in its fleet and network. Austrian is still the dominant airline at its home base of Vienna and offers non-stop services to over 130 destinations.

Airline Frequency share Capacity share Number of routes
Austrian 56.8% 51.7% 133
Niki 4.1% 6.2% 21
Air Berlin 4.4% 6.1% 6
SkyEurope 4.6% 6.0% 25
Lufthansa 5.2% 4.9% 6
Germanwings 1.8% 2.2% 3
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 11 August 2008

Four of the next five largest airlines at the airport are LCCs and when the market shares of Aer Lingus, clickair and easyJet are added in some 22% of capacity at Vienna is provided by low-cost airlines.

Image: Austrian Airlines
Austrian Airlines celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. CEO Alfred Oetsch holds up a model plane during a celebration held in Schwechat on 31 March. The airline also marked the occasion by painting one of its aircraft in a livery dating back to the 1950s.

Austrian still has monopoly on over 50% of ASKs

While Austrian may have serious competition from lower cost carriers on many European routes, it still has a monopoly on some 52% of the ASKs that it flies. Out of Austrian’s 133 routes at Vienna, 66 have no direct competition including long-haul routes to Canada, India, Japan and the USA, as well as five domestic routes which are all served at least four times per day.

Chart: Austrian in Vienna
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 11 August 2008

A further 48 routes have just a single competitor, while 17 European routes have two direct competitors. On flights to Frankfurt (Adria Airways, Lufthansa, niki) and Rome Fiumicino (Air One, Alitalia, niki) Austrian is one of four airlines operating the route.

Vienna’s LCC share not as high as Munich, Oslo and Stockholm

One of Austrian’s explanations for its poor financial performance is the high proportion of LCC traffic at its hub base. A total of seven major European LCCs have a presence at the airport and according to current schedule data they account for around 22% of total scheduled capacity.

Chart: LCC Capacity

A comparison of the major hubs of other European flag carriers reveals that two of SAS’ three Scandinavian hubs have a higher LCC presence, as does Lufthansa’s secondary hub at Munich. The dominant hubs of Europe’s ‘big 3′ of Air France (Paris CDG), British Airways (London Heathrow) and Lufthansa (Frankfurt) all have less than 10% of capacity flown by LCCs, although Finnair is in the best position of having less than 2% of capacity at Helsinki supplied by LCCs.

Dropping London City and Chicago; new Saudi routes pushed back

Image: Group Photo
Time for that sad violin music: Double-daily London City services, originally launched with a string quartet in March, end next week. Six times weekly Chicago O’Hare flights also come to an end at the close of the summer season.

Austrian has put back the launch of its two new Saudi Arabian services from mid-August to early October, while axing two routes that it started during the last two years. Double-daily flights to London City which only began in March this year end next week, while six times weekly Chicago O’Hare flights come to an end at the close of the summer season. Unless a strategic partner is found other such route cancellations may follow.

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  1. Leon says:

    The LCC capacity share at BRU of 18.4% seems much too high, though it has been growing a lot lately. Which airlines were included ? replies: The BRU figure of 18.4% included Jetairfly which now lists flights as ‘scheduled’ in OAG data. Without Jetairfly BRU would have just 7.5% LCCs which consists of easyJet (1.8%), Vueling (1.3%), clickair (1.0%), Aer Lingus (0.9%), SkyEurope (0.7%), Flybe (0.6%), Sterling (0.4%), Atlas Blue (0.4%), Blue Air (0.3%) and (0.1%).

  2. Sergio Rosa says:

    In your analysis of LCC penetration in hub airports you should some how consider also secondary airports if they are very close to the hubs, otherways the results are, in my opinion, slightly biased. Madrid with 13% seems more affected than Rome but if you add Ciampino which is very close to Fiumicino data should look different. And also Arlanda if you add Skavsta traffic figures will increase the LCC share in Stockholm.

  3. Dr. Franz Kotrba says:

    Well to the point! Conclusion? Do your homework first and then look for a partner.

  4. Andreas says:


    is there any special reason LCC in MUC is so high, because in there figures for 2007 they only had about 16 %?

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