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Budget airlines' market share grows

A Ryanair plane17/04/13

Low-cost airlines increased their market share in Europe last year, according to the latest figures.

Budget carriers were responsible for almost two out of five European flights as they took a 38 per cent share of the continent's traffic in 2012, data from travel industry technology firm Amadeus reveals.

That represents a 1.5 per cent increase from the previous year and it is the largest market share for budget airlines of any region in the world.

The equivalent figure in North America was 30.2 per cent and in Asia it was 18.6 per cent, the figures show. Elsewhere in the data it is revealed that Asia had more air passengers (787 million) than any other region, based on where journeys began, and it was also the fastest-growing region as it achieved nine per cent growth.

Europe came next in terms of total numbers as it managed a four per cent rise to 680 million passengers in 2012, while North America was third with a two per cent increase to 597 million.

Latin America saw a surge in passengers in 2012, the figures show, with a six per cent rise to 189 million. Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo in Brazil was said to be the third-busiest route of all, with 7.71 million passengers in 2012.

The only routes attracting more passengers were Jeju to Seoul in South Korea with 10.15 million travellers, and Sapporo to Tokyo in Japan which saw 8.21 million passengers.

A total of 2.48 billion passengers throughout the world travelled by air last year, according to the data, which marks a five per cent increase from 2011.

So-called "super routes" were responsible for much of the traffic, Amadeus said, as just three per cent of all worldwide routes were responsible for 85 per cent of all flights.

Asia was home to the majority of the 10 busiest routes last year, while none were in Europe.

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