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Industry trends, on the fly

on the fly: What are the latest EMEA airline growth trends?

May 2, 2023

Airline Growth Trends in EMEA (Europe, Africa, and the Middle East).

Analytics on the fly


What are the latest airline growth trends in Europe (including Russia and Turkey), Africa, and the Middle East? Our latest figures, compiled from Cirium’s Diio system, show capacity trends for most major airlines throughout these regions. One clear theme is that almost every carrier was expanding in the latter part of the 2010s, before being forced to shrink dramatically when the Covid pandemic hit in 2020. Some carriers started rebounding in 2021. Others didn’t resume growth until 2022.

You might be surprised to see (in the right column) LOT Polish as the fastest growing major airline in the EMEA region between 2016 and 2019. A few things to remember here: LOT was rescued with government aid in the early 2010s, which prompted European regulators to impose growth restrictions on the airline. When these limits expired, LOT rebuilt its network and added new routes, including some new intercontinental flying that disproportionately boosted ASKs.

Jet2, Volotea, and Wizz Air are more traditional growth stories. Others like Etihad and Virgin Atlantic, by contrast, didn’t grow at all during the late 2010s. South African Airways contracted. 

Please note that the figures shown below include subsidiary airlines. Air France/KLM, for example, includes the group’s Transavia operation. Lufthansa includes Swiss, Austrian, Eurowings, and Air Dolomiti. Wizz Air includes the carrier’s venture in Abu Dhabi, etc.

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