Skift Take

In the U.S., where legacy carriers are consolidating their positions, the relatively low penetration of low cost carriers, compared with countries such as the UK and Spain, has ominous implications.

Low-cost carriers posted modest global marketshare gains in 2012, but in the fastest-growing regions for overall air-passenger volumes, the low-cost carriers are not really sharing in the spoils.

That’s one of the conclusions that can be drawn from an Amadeus Air Travel Traffic Intelligence study, which was released today.

In air travel’s fastest-growing regions — Asia (9%) and Latin America (6%) — low-cost carriers’ marketshare in 2012 stood at 18.6% and 24.9%, respectively. In the Middle East, LCCs hold a mere 13.5% marketshare.

Region LCC share of traffic 2011 LCC share of traffic 2012 Proportional change by percent
Europe 36.5% 38.0% +1.5
South West Pacific 35.5% 36.6% +1.1
North America 29.5% 30.2% +0.7
Latin America 26.6% 24.9% -1.7
Asia 16.5% 18.6% +2.1
Middle East 11.7% 13.5% +1.8
Africa 9.4% 9.9% +0.5
Passengers travelling between regions are assigned to the region of origin.

The dearth of a viable LCC presence in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East contrasts sharply with the situation in Europe, which has the greatest LCC marketshare in the world at 38%, followed by the South West Pacific (36.6%), and North America (30.2%).

Spain (57%) has the highest LCC marketshare in Europe while the UK (52%) passed the 50% milestone for the first time in 2012.

The status of LCCs varies by country, of course. Although Asia has a low LCC marketshare overall, the Philippines boasts an LCC marketshare of 61%.


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Tags: budget, low-cost carriers

Photo credit: Ryanair 737 landing on a runway at Prestwick while a Wizz A320 HA-LPM waits at the holding point. Mark Hawkin / Flickr

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