London – Bucharest 1.5 million seats; 9% CAGR since 2014

You lose some, you win some. This cake commemorated Ryanair’s inaugural service from London Stansted to Oradea. Oredea is no longer served from London. Its location doesn’t help, with four airports within a 3h radius having London service.

Bucharest is one of 11 Romanian cities served from London.  This year, 1.5 million total seats are offered from London to Bucharest.  This is up from <900,000 in 2014 – a CAGR of 9.3%. In December 2019, an average of 12 daily flights are operated between the two capitals.

London – Romania (excl. Bucharest) now bigger than London – Bucharest

While London – Bucharest is fast-growing, it has increasingly taken a backseat to broader London – Romania.  Excluding the Romanian capital, this has grown two-and-a-half times faster with a CAGR of 23%.  Bucharest remains by far the single-largest market.

London - Bucharest 1.5 million seats; CAGR of 9% since 2014

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

Bucharest now accounts for less than half of London – Romania capacity, down almost YOY from two-thirds in 2014.

Five London airports to Bucharest

In 2019, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Southend, and Stansted have service to Bucharest. Southend came online in October 2019, when both Ryanair and Wizz Air began it days apart.

London - Bucharest 1.5 million seats; CAGR of 9% since 2014

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

600,000+ seats were added since 2014. Of these, half were at Luton, one-quarter at Gatwick and one-fifth at Stansted. Ryanair was responsible at Stansted and Wizz Air at Gatwick. At Luton, Blue Air added 40% of the seats, the rest by Wizz Air. 

Five airlines operate London – Bucharest

Wizz Air has grown its seat share from 34% in 2014 to 50% in 2019.  It now serves Bucharest from three London airports. It supplemented its 20-weekly Luton service (served higher during the summer) with a six-weekly to Gatwick and its new five-weekly operation to Southend.  

London - Bucharest 1.5 million seats; CAGR of 9% since 2014

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser. It’s noteworthy that, amid the growth, TAROM remains almost fully static, capacity-wise, with a daily A318 service from London Heathrow.

Romanian airline Blue Air bullishly added a third more seats to Luton before right-sizing amid Wizz Air’s response. easyJet ended Gatwick – Bucharest in 2015.  This was no surprise given 70% of the market is for VFR reasons and easyJet tends to perform less effectively in very VFR-heavy markets.  Above all, the main losers have been BA and TAROM, whose shares have declined notably. While over half of London – Bucharest frequencies are now by the A321, as a result of Wizz Air, TAROM’s capacity is almost exactly the same in 2019 as in 2014 from using the Airbus A318. 



  1. Shamus says:

    TAROM flight is now operated with Boeing 737-800 (Winglets)

    • James Pearson says:

      Hi Shamus. It’s almost always by the A318 per OAG Schedules Analyser. It’s also confirmed by websites like Flightradar24. However, the 738 does occasionally appear.

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