While taking a closer look at the competitors in the European airline market it is visible the there are two main groups of airlines. One group consists airlines with a low cost strategy, and the other group are the mainstream carriers. This last group exists of a few companies who have severe problems with the structurally sickness of this industry. Only Lufthansa made a net profit. BA, Air France-KLM and Scandinavian Air Systems all made severe losses, due to declining traffic from long-haul business class passengers.
Low cost airline market
There are several airlines competing in the European low cost airline market. These airlines have the common criteria of a low cost strategy, short flights and destinations mainly in Europe. The market share leader is Ryanair. Important competitors are EasyJet, Air Berlin and the two smaller airlines: Norwegian Airlines and Wizz air. Also Aer Lingus can be seen as a competitor, despite the share of Ryanair in the carrier. Due to the economic recession opportunities for budget carriers increased. By mid-2009, budget airlines accounted for over 35% of scheduled intra-European traffic.
Different players on the low-cost airline market
Ryanair is an low-cost carrier, positioned with emphasis on basic service for an low price and operates only in Europe.
The main competitor EasyJet provides an identical product, but carries slightly higher pricing. In comparison to Ryanair, they fly to primary based airports more closer to city centers. They target more on the business passengers.
Another big airline is Air Berlin. They are a low-cost airline, but don’t operate with a pure low-cost carrier model. Air Berlin offers guaranteed connections via its hubs, free services, they have a dedicated business class section and a frequent flyer program.
Norwegian Airlines established a domestic low-cost carrier. It’s main hub is Oslo Airport with 150 routes to 85 destinations, across Europe into North...