The geography of European low-cost airline networks: A contemporary analysis
Low-cost airlines (LCAs) have become essential actors supplying nationwide and continental air services.This paper focuses on the European case and investigates how the LCA spatial strategy hasevolved since the last available comprehensive analysis in 2004. Using comprehensive data, the analysisis conducted at three levels: global, cities and networks. It shows that LCAs now represent 31% ofintra-European airline seats. Although LCA business has expanded to Central-East Europe, Morocco,and a few remote areas, it remains mainly focused on the intra-Western market. In general, LCAs servelarge cities and tourist destinations. The use of secondary, regional airports is put into perspective. Servicevolatility is low at the city level but significant at the inter-city level. Average distance hasincreased, but most flights are short-haul. LCAs play an important role in launching new routes, thusdiversifying the European airline network, and in increasing frontal competition with traditional airlineson pre-existing routes. The niche markets are common in terms of routes but are rather limitedin terms of seats supplied. Actually, the main specificity of the largest LCAs is the provision of flightsthat do not serve the home country. A typology of networks demonstrates that there is no a singleEuropean low-cost model.
|Date of creation:||2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in: Journal of transport geography (2013) v.28,p.75-88|
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