The inexorable grinding down of Europe’s small airline companies continues, and with a similar air of inevitability, it is Ireland’s Ryanair that looks like one of the main beneficiaries along with its major budget rivals.

Grabbing market share from Europe’s shrinking flag carriers as well as the small airlines that have gone bankrupt in the past year helps explain the continued strong growth in traffic at Ryanair and other budget carriers like easyJet and Norwegian Air Shuttle  despite the worsening economic outlook across Europe.

Photo Credit: Passengers disembarking from a Ryanair jet at Ireland West Knock Airport. David Precious / Flickr.com