easyJet to begin Manchester – Aberdeen? If so, its 4th new UK domestic route in less than a year
easyJet looks set to announce Manchester – Aberdeen, with the route appearing on OAG Schedules Analyser daily from 31 August. The 428-kilometre sector will use 186-seat A320s.
If it happens, it will compete head-to-head with Loganair, which has a 23-weekly offering with 50-seat Embraer 145s.
Both will target different core customers. While easyJet’s daily frequency obviously won’t allow day trips, Loganair’s frequency does in both directions.
|Routing||Start date||Weekly frequency||Timings (from Manchester first)||Aircraft||Competition (WF)*|
|Manchester – Aberdeen||31 August 2020||7||Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat: 0720-0840; 0910-1025
|*Based on the week commencing 31 August 2020. Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.|
55% of Manchester – Aberdeen seats cut…
easyJet’s potential new route follows the end of flybe, whose cessation meant Manchester – Aberdeen seats fell by 55% in 2020 YOY. 147,000 seats were cut.
Manchester – Aberdeen has seen quite a lot of upheaval since 2010, broadly reflecting the challenges of regional and short-haul operators and operations.
2017 was the peak year for seats, when flybe offered 306,000 between the cities. That year, the carrier offered up to 43 weekly services, or over six-daily, almost always by its 78-seat Dash-8-400s.
… as easyJet’s own Aberdeen seats fell by 61% in 2019
Aberdeen has never been a big part of easyJet’s UK operations, which is not surprising given its aircraft capacity of a minimum of 156 seats and the general importance of frequency in such markets.
Following the end of its London Gatwick – Aberdeen service, easyJet’s total Aberdeen seats fell by 61% in 2019, down 163,000 YOY.
Now, the carrier only serves the eastern Scotland city from both London Luton and Geneva – and, soon, Manchester.
easyJet has never sought higher-yielding business travellers to/from London, which is reflected in its schedule. Aberdeen – London is the preserve of British Airways, with its 41-weekly service against easyJet’s once-daily, based on the week starting 31 August.
easyJet’s share of UK domestic seats rises to 48%
Domestic UK seats fell from 29 million in 2019 to 20 million this year, both from the end of flybe and the impact of the coronavirus.
As such, easyJet’s seat share increased from 34% to 48% in this period. Its Manchester – Jersey service, launched last July, contributed. So too will its coming Birmingham – Edinburgh and Birmingham – Glasgow routes, both starting this year.
All were previously operated by flybe.
flybe was by far the UK’s largest domestic operator by frequency last year, while easyJet was number-one by seats.
This was because of flybe’s average 79 seats per frequency (74 including its franchise partners) from the disproportionate dominance of its Dash-8s domestically. This contrasts with easyJet’s average 168 seats.