Airlines to launch 400 new European routes over winter

Just three airlines account for almost half of the new services to be launched – Ryanair, Wizz Air and easyJet

Flying over Europe is set to become even easier over the winter with hundreds of new routes being launched. According to a new analysis conducted by the ANKER report, airlines have already announced 400 completely new services between European destinations that would operate from October 2018 to March 2019.

Ryanair will launch 812 new routes, some of them are caused by their relocation from Glasgow to Edinburgh — Patryk Kosmider / Shutterstock Airlines to launch 400 new European routes over winter
Ryanair will launch 812 new routes, some of them are caused by their relocation from Glasgow to Edinburgh – Patryk Kosmider / Shutterstock

The agency gathered data provided by FlightGlobal from which they identified and analysed the top 30 airlines operating in Europe, including 17 flag carriers, seven low-cost carriers and two Gulf carriers. They also incorporated Air Europa, Flybe, S7 Airlines and Laudamotion.

Over 45 per cent of the newly announced services belong to three major carriers. While Ryanair will kick off 82 new connections, Wizz Air is set to launch 57 and easyJet 54 new routes. However, the numbers are not definite.  

As there are likely to be new routes announced later, the final number of new services for this winter could rise to up to 450.

Some of the new connections established by Ryanair are caused by their move from Glasgow to Edinburgh. Wizz Air is expecting the largest growth from its new Vienna base with Chisinau, Cluj-Napoca, Debrecen and London Luton connections.

EasyJet will expand at both Berlin airports — Shutterstock Airlines to launch 400 new European routes over winter
EasyJet will expand at both Berlin airports – Shutterstock

EasyJet is going to expand in both Berlin airports, Schönefeld and Tegel, and will add at least 12 new routes from various London airports, Belfast, Bristol and Manchester.

The data provided by FlightGlobal suggests that overall air traffic in Europe will undergo notable growth in general.  

“Using the latest available schedules data from FlightGlobal, the ANKER Report estimates that the number of flights operating across Europe’s airports this winter is set to rise by an above average 8 per cent, with seat capacity up to 9.6 per cent,” the report says.

“While Brexit remains a major source of uncertainty for the UK market, the rest of Europe has got through summer with no major economic meltdowns, though the exceedingly hot weather in several countries has caused some tourism issues. With the Turkish market apparently back to full health, and fuel prices still reasonably low, most airlines are planning for growth this winter,” the report explains.