EU budget carriers to take 35% by 2010

The share of low-cost airlines on the European market will grow to 35 pct by 2010 from the present 15 percent, Cologne Airport CEO Michael Garvens said at the Aviation Days currently being held in Salzburg, Austria. The low-cost sector has enormous potential and the major European carriers Ryanair and EasyJet have ordered a total 300 new aircraft reported Austraian’s APA news agency.

Both airlines will need 75 million additional passengers alone to fully load the newly ordered aircraft, Garvens said. At present there are some 400 million air passengers a year in Europe 60 million of whom used low-cost carriers.

While low-cost carriers concentrate on continental flights, the growth potential of the conventional carriers is seen in the long-haul flights. Garvens said he expected a consolidation process among the conventional airlines over the next few years. The smaller will be forced to join one of the three major players, Air France, British Airways or Lufthansa.

Eastern Europe offers high growth potential for low-cost carriers, Ralph Preclik from Sky Europe said.