Transatlantic market grows by 6% in 2015; Delta Air Lines, British Airways, United Airlines and American Airlines lead way
Analysis of schedule data shows that in 2015, for the second year in a row, seat capacity between Europe and North America (USA and Canada) is up by around 6%. The 44 million one-way seats on offer this year is the most offered during the last decade. In just two of the last 10 years has capacity fallen; in 2009 (by almost 8%) and in 2012 (by just over 2%).
Delta #1 airline on transatlantic
Analysis by airline shows that Delta Air Lines is now the leading provider of capacity on the transatlantic market, ahead of British Airways, United Airlines and American Airlines. Back in 2005, British Airways was by far the biggest airline in the market, but since then Delta has absorbed Northwest Airlines, United has merged with Continental, and American has merged with US Airways. As a result, North American carriers (shown in bright green) occupy four of the top six places.
The most impressive growth has arguably come from Turkish Airlines which has seen its transatlantic capacity increase sevenfold in the last decade. Since 2010 it has added routes to Washington Dulles (November 2010), Los Angeles (March 2011), Houston Intercontinental (April 2013), Boston (May 2014) and San Francisco (April 2015) in the US, as well as Montreal in Canada (June 2014).
Lurking just outside the top 15 airlines are Icelandair, Norwegian, Iberia and airberlin. In 2005 a total of 59 airlines operated scheduled transatlantic services. This has fallen slightly to 57 in 2015, which sounds like little has changed. However, 24 airlines have disappeared from the market while 22 have entered, including Air Europa, Emirates, Jet Airways, La Compagnie, Norwegian, WestJet, WOW air and XL Airways France.
Heathrow still tops for transatlantic flights
A closer look at which airports in Europe are the leading providers of weekly seat capacity this summer shows that London Heathrow is by some distance number one. The UK airport offers almost 80% more seats across the ‘pond’ than any other airport, with Paris CDG and Frankfurt vying for second place. A total of 67 European airports offer at least one weekly flight this summer to a destination in either Canada or the USA.