Europe’s leading LCC, Ryanair, looks set to continue its expansion in Italy as LCC capacity share (a good indicator of market share) growth generally in Europe has tailed off during the last three years. Alitalia has meanwhile announced it is considering transforming Air One, the local rival it merged with in Dec-2008, into an LCC, in response to intense competition.
Traditionally ‘big business’ regions for the LCCs such as Poland and the eastern Baltic – boosted by migrant workers – are no longer growing, and even potentially contracting. Slovakia’s SkyEurope, currently in bankruptcy protection, is one airline to have been affected. With its fleet halved early in 2009 (though some new aircraft have since been added on lease agreements) its passenger traffic was down by over 37% in Jul-09.