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Delivering excellence in the skies: how Volotea’s operational efficiency fuels positive passenger experiences

Volotea Airlines distinguishes itself not only through its unique route strategy but also by its unwavering commitment to operational excellence and customer satisfaction.

In the competitive landscape of European air travel, Volotea Airlines distinguishes itself not only through its unique route strategy but also by its unwavering commitment to operational excellence and customer satisfaction. A recent discussion between Cirium’s Jim Hetzel, Director of Product Marketing and Eduard Diviu, Volotea’s Chief Operating Officer, sheds light on the airline’s strategic maneuvers and operational focus areas that contribute significantly to its high passenger approval.

Strategic growth and unique route selection

Volotea’s growth strategy is both ambitious and strategic, the airline has increased its fleet from 41 aircraft at the end of 2023 to 44 to start the summer season of 2024 and boost operations from around 70,000 to nearly 80,000 flights this year. Also, for this 2024, Volotea estimates reaching 450 routes and anticipates offering between 12.5 and 13 million seats (between 12% and 16% more than in 2023).

Unlike its competitors, Volotea zeroes in on connecting small and middle-sized cities, creating a niche market where it faces less competition and can offer more personalized service.

This approach not only meets the underserved demand but also fosters a loyal customer base appreciative of the direct routes to their preferred destinations.

Prioritizing departure performance

While Volotea believes in excellent arrival on-time performance (OTP), a cornerstone of Volotea’s operational strategy is its focus on departure performance where they have more direct control of factors impacting their operations. Understanding the pivotal role timely departures play in the overall travel experience and the downstream impact on arrival performance, the airline has set rigorous standards to minimize both delays and cancellations. This dedication is reflected in Volotea’s compliance with EU 261 regulations, demonstrating Volotea’s commitment to punctuality and reliability. The outcome is an impressive reduction in flight delays to a mere 0.26% of flight operations, a testament to the airline’s operational efficiency and passenger-centric approach.

Volotea leverages Cirium’s operational OTP data analytics to benchmark their performance against competitors in the region.

Balancing operational costs with customer satisfaction

Achieving a harmonious balance between maintaining low fares and operational costs while ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction is critical for any low-cost carrier.

With a smaller fleet size than many of their competitors, Volotea excels in this domain by optimizing aircraft utilization and managing operational complexities with finesse.

Despite the challenges posed by a limited number of spare aircraft and geographically dispersed bases in France, Italy, Spain and Greece, Volotea leverages its resources effectively to deliver exceptional service. The airline’s proactive stance on leveraging their spare resources not only for maintenance but also to swiftly address unforeseen disruptions minimizes the impact on passengers and maintains the airline’s reputation for reliability.

Leveraging operational efficiency for enhanced passenger experience

Volotea’s strategic focus extends beyond just on-time departures to encompass efficient turn times and judicious use of spare aircraft. This comprehensive approach ensures minimal disruption, reduced cancellations, and keeps operational costs in check, allowing the airline to offer high value at the lowest possible cost as their customers demand. Such operational excellence directly correlates with positive passenger experiences, as evidenced by Volotea’s commendable NPS score of ~32 in 2023, an impressive improvement of 50% over 2022.  Volotea’s passenger experience is further underscored by exceptional review across independent sources.

Volotea’s passenger experience is further underscored by exceptional review across independent sources.

Volotea was awarded a four-star rating in 2024 and recognized by Skytrax -the industry’s most prestigious international air transport rating organization- in its global passenger satisfaction survey as the “Best Low-Cost Airline in Europe” at the 2023 World Airline Awards. The airline adds this accolade to its growing list of achievements, which includes consecutive wins for “Europe’s Leading Low-Cost Airline” at the World Travel Awards in 2021, 2022, and 2024. Furthermore, 92% of Megavolotea customers would recommend traveling with the airline, highlighting its high customer satisfaction rates.

Looking ahead

As Volotea continues to navigate the skies of Europe, its commitment to operational efficiency, strategic growth, and customer satisfaction remains unwavering. Through a balanced operation that leverages full resource utilization and prioritizes punctuality, Volotea is set to soar higher, further cementing its position as a preferred choice for travelers seeking reliability, convenience, and value.

Volotea’s success story is a compelling example of how strategic planning, operational efficiency, and a customer-centric approach can converge to create a positive and memorable travel experience. As the airline moves forward with its ambitious plans, passengers can expect continued excellence in service, reaffirming Volotea’s status as a leading low-cost carrier in the European aviation space.

“Our goal is to consistently provide the best service to our passengers, enhancing their travel experience from booking to the end of their journey at very competitive rates.

Every year, we adjust our commercial program and operational set-up to maintain high utilization while ensuring top on-time performance (OTP) and reliability.

So far this year, our OTP15 exceeds 83%, and we are focused on maintaining this punctuality for the flights we operate during the summer season. In 2023, Volotea achieved a flight completion rate of 99.3%, ranking us among the top three airlines in Europe. This level of efficiency is achieved through our crews’ hard work and skill, who manage quick turnarounds, typically between 25 to 35 minutes, which is essential for our continuous improvement and customer satisfaction”. Eduard Diviu, Chief Operating Officer Volotea.


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