Katowice Airport to pass five million barrier as Wizz Air’s dominance falls
Katowice is Poland’s fourth-busiest airport with 4.84 million passengers in 2019. Since 2010, passenger volume increased by 102% with a CAGR of 7%. It expects to break the five million passenger barrier for the first time this year. Katowice has come a long way. In 2003, the year before Poland joined the EU, the airport’s passengers totaled just 260,000.
Charter passengers exceed two million in 2019
Katowice has added about 1.8 million passengers since 2015 (CAGR: 10%). Charter passengers were responsible for 949,000, or 53%, of this growth, with such traffic surpassing two million (2,006,326) for the first time in 2019. Charter passengers accounted for 41% of Katowice’s total passengers last year. Scheduled passengers, meanwhile, grew by 826,000, or 42%, since 2015 – but from a base twice as great as charter.
Wizz Air has a declining share at Katowice
On a scheduled basis, Wizz Air remains key at Katowice, with 2.3 million out of the airport’s almost four million scheduled seats. Wizz Air’s 59% share is well ahead of that of Ryanair (477,000; 12%); Smartwings Poland (342,000; 9%); Lufthansa (247,000; 6%); and LOT (220,000; 6%). Wizz Air currently has 36 routes from Katowice It introduced various routes in 2019, including Castellion, Fuerteventura, Odessa, and Santander. Despite the carrier’s significance, its dominance reduced to 59% in 2019 from a high of 69% in 2016.
Ryanair has partly been responsible for Wizz Air’s decline in dominance from the opening of its Katowice base last year. Last year, it launched 13 new routes, including Bologna, Cork, Gothenburg, Manchester, Milan Bergamo, and Paphos. It now has 22 routes. These – plus new routes to Bourgas, Brindisi, and Kherson – will mean its 2020 seats virtually double YOY to almost one million.
London Luton and Dortmund fight for #1 spot
Katowice had 120 scheduled and charter destinations in 2019, with the top-10 airport-pairs and countries, on a scheduled basis, shown below. The difference between London Luton and Dortmund is now minimal as a result of two developments. Firstly, Luton seats falling 15%, or 63,000, year-on-year from Wizz Air reducing frequencies by the A321 in favour of the obviously lower-capacity A320. Secondly, from Ryanair beginning Dortmund in 2019 in direct competition with Wizz Air. In current week, there are 25 weekly frequencies (each way) to Dortmund: Ryanair with 11 and Wizz Air with 14.
|Top-10 airport-pairs (scheduled||Top-10 countries (scheduled)|
|Airport-pair||Total seats||Country||Total seats|
|London Luton||349,620||United Kingdom||787,830|
|Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.|
While the UK and Germany are top country-wise, it was Ukraine grew that grew strongly YOY, with a 63% increase in seats (from a low base). This was from Ryanair introducing Kiev Boryspil and Odessa, with Wizz Air nearly doubling capacity to Kharkiv. There are now six routes to Ukraine, and Wizz Air and Ryanair compete directly to Odessa and indirectly to Kiev.