15 fastest-growing intra-European country pairs this summer revealed

Spain - Hungary

Holy cow! Spain-Hungary is the 5th-fastest growing country pair in Europe, with over 45% more seats this summer, thanks to Iberia launching Madrid-Budapest services in June. Italy-Hungary is also a bull market – up 34%. To find out why enterprising airlines are so keen to land on Budapest’s Tarmac, you can do your own close-up inspection by taking part in a 10km charity run on Budapest Airport’s Runway 13R-31L on 6 September when runners from airlines, airports and enterprises across the aviation community once again compete for a series of anna.aero-Budapest Airport “Golden Cake Trophies.” Sign up here.

This week’s anna.aero analysis looks at which are the fastest-growing country pairs this summer within Europe. Based on currently known schedule data, seat capacity within Europe is expected to increase by just under 4% this August (the peak summer month). Using a criteria of at least 30,000 monthly seats, the fastest-growing country pair in percentage terms is revealed to be Russia-Moldova (+59.3%) followed closely by Poland-Denmark (+58.5%). This makes Poland-Denmark the fastest-growing intra-EU market in percentage terms.

Chart - Fastest-growing intra-European markets Increase in monthly seat capacity (percentage) August 2015 v August 2014

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for August 2014 and August 2015.

Taking a closer look at the six fastest-growing country pairs reveals:

  • Russia-Moldova: Aeroflot launched daily flights from Moscow Sheremetyevo to Chisinau on 26 October 2014 and will begin daily St Petersburg service to Chisinau starting 1 June 2015;
  • Poland-Denmark: Ryanair will launch new service between Warsaw Modlin and Copenhagen (on 26 March 2015) and Wizz Air will add a Gdansk-Billund service starting 19 June 2015. In addition there are significant capacity increases by SAS on its Copenhagen-Wroclaw and Copenhagen-Warsaw routes, while Norwegian has added capacity on its Copenhagen-Krakow route;
  • Turkey-Czech Republic: No new routes, but Pegasus Airlines, SmartWings and Turkish Airlines are all significantly adding flights on their existing routes;
  • Poland-Belgium: Brussels Airlines launched twice-daily Brussels-Warsaw service on 14 September 2014, while Wizz Air is adding Gdansk-Brussels Charleroi on 19 June 2015. Ryanair and Wizz Air are also both increasing the number of flights between their Warsaw bases and Brussels Charleroi;
  • Spain-Hungary: Iberia is launching flights between Madrid and Budapest on 2 June 2015, while Ryanair and Wizz Air have both increased frequencies on their Budapest-Madrid services as well;
  • Poland-Norway: Wizz Air will have launched Szczecin-Bergen, Gdansk-Molde, Warsaw-Bergen and Warsaw-Stavanger, while Ryanair has added Oslo Rygge-Szczecin. Ryanair and Wizz Air have also added significant capacity on a number of routes such as Warsaw Modlin-Oslo Rygge, Gdansk-Oslo Torp and Gdansk-Stavanger.
Aeroflot’s new service between Moscow Sheremetyevo and Chisinau

Business-like: Aeroflot’s new service between Moscow Sheremetyevo and Chisinau launched last October not only helped Moldova be the fastest-growing European country for airport traffic in 2014, but has also helped make the Russia-Moldova market the fastest-growing country pair within Europe this summer, compared with last summer.

Turkish domestic market sees biggest increase in seats

If instead of looking at percentage growth the analysis is repeated with the aim of finding the country pairs with the biggest volume increase in monthly seats, a very different ranking emerges. The Turkish domestic market is now the clear winner with other domestic markets filling five of the next seven positions. The biggest volume increases in international country pairs are Germany-Turkey and Spain-France. Three international markets from the UK (to Germany, Ireland and Poland) all make the top 12 in terms of volume growth.

Chart Biggest changes in intra-European markets Change in monthly seat capacity: Aug 2015 v Aug 2014 (Change in percentage terms)

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for August 2014 and August 2015.

At the other end of the rankings the biggest volume declines have been in the Italian domestic market (mostly due to the closure of Air One and cutbacks at Meridiana), between the UK and Spain and between Russia and Cyprus. Much of the reduction in the UK-Spain market can be attributed to an apparent 25% reduction in seat capacity by Monarch Airlines (it is closing its East Midlands base at the end of March), as well as smaller seat reductions in this market by Jet2.com and Ryanair.


  1. hiddenEurope says:

    We always so much value the reports and analysis by Anna Aero. Full marks to you all for remembering that Europe extends east of Poland to include Russia, Moldova and many other territories.

    This piece nicely shows how patterns in air traffic often defy other trends. At one level, it’s easy to understand that the fall in value of the rouble has undermined Russian traffic to Cyprus. But who ever could have predicted such a great increase between Russia and Ukraine (particularly with five airports in mainly Russian-speaking areas of eastern Ukraine completely closed by the current civil war)? Or is this 15% RUS-Ukraine increase in fact between Russian cities and the Republic of Crimea and / or the federal city of Sevastopol – both of which much more fully integrated into the Russian Federation over the last 12 months.

    Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
    hidden europe magazine

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