Alitalia + Blue Panorama + Wind Jet = 30m passenger airline
The recent announcement that Alitalia plans to absorb fellow Italian carriers Blue Panorama and Wind Jet will help the national carrier to gain market share, while at the same time removing two domestic competitors. Last year saw Alitalia’s fleet of 144 aircraft transport almost 25 million passengers, while Blue Panorama carried around two million on its fleet of 12 Boeing aircraft. Wind Jet flew almost three million passengers on its 12 Airbus A320-series aircraft. Analysis of OAG data for the first week in February reveals the share of seat capacity departing Italian airports operated by the top 12 airlines.
Alitalia leads the way with just over a quarter of all seat capacity with Ryanair accounting for a further 20%. Air One (a separate brand within the Alitalia group) has a further 3.3% of seat capacity. Wind Jet is a fraction bigger while Blue Panorama has just under 2% (its capacity is more seasonal). Between the four airlines, they account for over 34% of the Italian market this February.
Alitalia will gain most market share in Sicily
Analysis of OAG data for the top 15 Italian airports highlights at which airports Alitalia will gain most market share by absorbing Blue Panorama and Wind Jet. With over 40% of the Catania market, Wind Jet and Blue Panorama will help Alitalia to account for well over 75% of capacity at the largest Sicilian (and sixth largest Italian) airport.
Other airports where Alitalia’s market share will grow considerably are Palermo (from 37% to 54%), and Turin (from 30% to 44%).
Impact on Catania – Rome route may concern competition authorities
Wind Jet operates 15 domestic routes this winter with the top seven all involving Catania. Twelve of these routes are served daily but only the Rome service is served more than twice daily, with 25 weekly departures, against Alitalia’s 50 weekly departures. This is also a key route for Blue Panorama (which operates its low-cost domestic flights under the blu-express brand) with a further 21 weekly departures. Competition authorities may not be thrilled that a route that is currently served by three different carriers each operating at least three daily flights will, in effect, become a monopoly route with around 13 flights per day controlled by a single carrier.
The Rome – Palermo route would also see major reduction in competition. Currently served by Alitalia, Blue Panorama, easyJet and Wind Jet, the merger of the three Italian carriers would leave only easyJet (operating three daily flights) to compete against a combined Alitalia offering of around nine daily flights.