The Invasion of Low-Cost Airlines
The transatlantic market, typically the most lucrative aviation market in the world, is under attack.
Research carried out by Telegraph Travel in conjunction with OAG, the air travel analysts, has revealed the pressure being put on traditional carriers by low-cost, long-haul disrupters.
Telegraph Travel asked OAG to compare this winter’s transatlantic capacity with 2016/17. In terms of total seats on offer, British Airways remains the biggest player for flights between Europe and North America, but the low-cost airlines are closing in fast.
BA raised its available number of seats by 1.1%. Norwegian, on the other hand, raised its transatlantic capacity by 111.4%, whilst WOW Air has grown by 31.1%.
Other legacy carriers such as Delta, United Airlines and Lufthansa, the second, third and fourth biggest transatlantic airlines, are also treading water having increased capacity by just 3.2%, 2.6% and 2.9%, respectively. Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic has cut its number of seats resulting in a drop of 3.2%.
Nevertheless, a few premium airlines are bucking the trend. Iberia and Aeroflot both increased capacity by more than a quarter this winter. In addition, Emirates added almost 50,000 transatlantic seats, driven largely by the introduction of flights from Italy and Greece to North America.