Air capacity between Europe and Central America has more than doubled over the past five years

14 March, 2018

Over the past five years airline seat numbers between Europe and Central America have grown faster than any market to Latin America from Europe, recent analysis from CAPA – Centre for Aviation has revealed. Total Europe-Central America capacity in the year to 30-Jul-2018 will almost double from five years earlier, while growth on Europe to all of Latin America will be one third higher, according to OAG data the ‘Airline market Latin America-Europe: Central America the fastest growing, potential for much more’ premium insights analysis highlights.

This growth has mainly been driven on the European side with the number of European airports linked by non-stop flights to Central America increasing over the past five years from 11 to 23 in Jul-2018. On the other side the Central American airports linked non-stop to Europe have increased by just two from seven to nine. The number of airlines serving this geographic market will be up from 17 to 24 over the five year period with all but one of these operators being European. Overall, there will be 43 routes operating between Europe and Central America in Jul-2018, versus just 21 five years ago.

CAPA highlights that charter/leisure airlines and secondary airports (particularly in Europe) have been important to growth in this market, although primary European hubs and Mexico City remain significant in terms of seats, as do the major airlines such as Iberia, Aeromexico, Air France-KLM and Lufthansa. The analysis shows that from Europe, Madrid has the highest number of routes (seven). On the Central American side, routes are more concentrated on a smaller number of airports with Cancún in Mexico leading with 21 routes.

This strong performance over the past five years is just the start of an evolution of the market suggests CAPA which forecasts that Europe to Central America as offering significant further growth potential. “In spite of the strong growth in capacity, routes, and operators between Europe and Central America, by seats from Europe to the subregions of Latin America, this market remains in a distant third place behind Europe-Upper South America and Europe-Caribbean,” it explains.

“Political stability and infrastructure development in Central America are key ingredients for growth in a market that would seem to offer significant further potential,” it adds.

READ MORE - See the full detailed CAPA – Centre for Aviation analysis: Airline market Latin America-Europe: Central America the fastest growing, potential for much more