QUESTION FOR THE WEEK: LCCs have rarely been out of the news over the past 20 years, but which countries have the largest penetration?

19 August, 2019

In our new weekly series to break up those Monday morning office blues, The Blue Swan Daily will be testing your knowledge and insight into the aviation and travel industry. This is all just for fun, but who knows? We may be able to find a prize somewhere around CAPA HQ. This week's question is detailed below. The answers will be revealed and winners (if there are any correct entries) announced next week alongside our next question.

Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) have been rarely out of the news over the past 20 years as they disrupted market after market. And ever since, full service airlines have been learning from the often revolutionary methodology applied by the LCC model, in such areas as ancillary revenue as well as operational efficiencies and cost reduction. Equally, as LCCs proliferated and entered new markets, many sought to diversify, creating systems that mimicked their older peers.

The two service groups have converged to a point where full service carriers are launching LCC subsidiaries or attempting to buy independent LCCs as a means of targeting both full service and lower priced segments more effectively. Until relatively recently, dual brand strategies targeting different market segments have been rare. But the industry is now rife with such examples, notably in Asia Pacific. This combination of full service and low cost/no frills airline within one group has become a powerful combination to combat independent LCCs making inroads into the traditional leisure sector.

Of course, this has not stopped independent LCC groups from encroaching on their full service rivals. In Europe for example, LCCs have taken advantage of open skies to expand outside their home markets. Ryanair and easyJet are the region's two largest individual airlines by passenger numbers. In other markets like Asia, where the regulatory regime is more restrictive, larger LCCs have circumvented ownership and control provisions by forming cross border JVs with local partners.

Those lines between full service and low cost operators are now so blurred that many suggest a new definition is now required to differentiate between airlines based purely around service proposition. Until such a day, the LCC term remains and remains a differentiator between airlines, mainly based around the time they were born into the industry.

The Blue Swan Daily analysis of OAG schedule data shows that LCCs have a majority capacity share in 18 countries this summer and over a 60% share in seven countries.

Our QUESTION OF THE WEEK is... LCCs have rarely been out of the news over the past 20 years, but in which seven countries do they have more than a 60% share of summer capacity?

JOIN IN THE FUN: Send your answers to: The Blue Swan Daily Content Team

We will be revealing the answers at the same time next week, when we will be setting another question.

Last week we asked… Airports in three EU and four non-EU countries in Europe reported double-digit year-on-year passenger growth in 1H2019, but can you name all seven nations?

In Europe, the three countries where its airports grew at double-digit rates during the first half of 2019 were Austria (+20%), Croatia (+10.5%) and Estonia (+10.5%). Airports in Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Latvia, Poland, Hungary and Romania are also growing well above the European Union average, but not at double-digit rates during this period. The four non-European Union countries seeing double-digit airport growth in 1H2019 were Ukraine, Georgia, Albania and Northern Macedonia.