Katowice Airport to pass five million barrier as Wizz Air’s dominance falls

Katowice Airport to pass five million barrier as Wizz Air's dominance falls

Lufthansa has a 6% share of Katowice’s total scheduled seats. In the week starting 13th February 2020, it serves its Frankfurt and Munich hubs on a 26-times-weekly basis: Frankfurt 19-weekly and Munich seven using CR9s and E90s.

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. 

Katowice Airport to pass five million barrier as Wizz Air's dominance falls

Source: Katowice Airport.

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. 

Katowice Airport to pass five million barrier as Wizz Air's dominance falls (2)

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

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
Dortmund 340,380 Germany 657,705
Warsaw Chopin 224,333 Italy 267,710
Frankfurt Main 183,156 Norway 254,653
Eindhoven 161,100 Poland 224,953
Oslo Torp 152,233 Spain 224,010
Antalya 143,566 Netherlands 208,304
London Stansted 137,403 Turkey 195,238
Doncaster Sheffield 87,120 Greece 187,016
Barcelona 81,228 Ukraine 177,840
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.


  1. Johann Sturmbacher says:

    A very interesting comment. I see that the traffic at the airport is increasing mostly as the region is also developing

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