INFOGRAPHIC: Europe’s low-cost carrier revolution

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Published: May 2, 2012

A decade of development by the low-cost carriers has seen the short-haul map of Europe completely redrawn with well over a hundred budget carrier bases now in operation across the continent.

The second Airline Business low-cost carrier interactive features a special map charting the growth of low-cost carrier bases across Europe since 2001 when Ryanair opened its first base in continental Europe at Brussels Charleroi. Since then Ryanair alone this year passes the 50 base mark and Europe’s low-cost carriers, in their various shapes and sizes, total more than 130 bases in Europe.

This year also sees EasyJet, which has just opened French bases in Toulouse and Nice, launch an operation at a fourth London airport, Southend. The model also continues to attract new investment, even in cash strapped Europe, evident by the recent launch of flights out of Venice by start-up Volotea.

The interactive map charts the comings and goings of the European low-cost carrier sector, four of which – Ryanair, EasyJet, Air Berlin and Norwegian – were among the top ten budget carriers in Europe by passenger number in 2011.

Indeed in 2011 European operators represented the largest portion of traffic among 75 airlines in this year’s Airline Business low-cost carriers survey. European operators carried almost 270 million passengers in 2011 accounting for 37% of total low-cost carrier passengers numbers in 2011.

Track the development of low-cost carriers in Europe over the last decade with our interactive map here.


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