AT CAPA’s Airlines In Transition conference in Dublin in Apr-2013, Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller predicted that non-hub short-haul traffic will eventually be the sole territory of the no-frills carriers. Trends in traffic and profitability provide evidence that this prediction is in the process of being fulfilled.
However, the European airline market cannot simply be categorised into no-frills and full-service carriers (FSCs). There are ultra-low-cost carriers, hybrid LCCs that have added some frills and an increasing number of FSCs taking on some LCC characteristics.
LCCs continue to enjoy better traffic growth than their full-service competitors. While AEA passenger numbers grew by only 2.2% in 2012 (based on their 32 member airlines), members of the European Low Fares Airline Association carried 7.2% more passengers than in 2011.