European air connectivity and sustainability: key topics of Iata Wings of Change Europe event
Added on Wed November 30th, 2022
Air connectivity is an important aspect for all countries in the world for social, tourism and commercial growth. In particular, Europe relies heavely on this aspect by leveraging the advantages and strengths that airlines can offer.
In a recent survey, the largest users of Europe’s air transport network – business travellers – declared that access to global supply chains is crucial to their business. Without deregulation, low-cost airlines would not have been born and it would not have been possible to customise their business model and services to create a free market system.
In fact, Willie Walsh, Director General of Iata, declared that Europe benefits from many different types of airlines and needs all these business models and their services to continue to be successful.
During Iata Wings of Change Europe event (Istanbul, Turkey, on 8-9 November), Iata Economics presented a report that analyses the reach of connectivity provided by low-cost carriers (LCCs) and network carriers in Europe. The report shows that they offer different and complementary types of connectivity, while also competing on many popular routes.
In particular, the report shows that the number of registered European LCC has almost doubled since 2004: now, they are 35. Instead, the number of network carriers has slightly decreased over the same period: from 149 to 131.
However, there is a 79% coverage on European routes by network carriers, which compete with the line on popular destinations but have the upper hand on less frequented ones thanks to the hub-and-spoke model.
Moreover, the number of destination-originated flight itineraries served by network carriers is from 2 to 4 times higher than the flight itineraries served by LCC before the pandemic.
Walsh said that it is mainly enterprises that will focus on policies that support effective links both within the continent and with European global trading partners, as entrepreneurs have confirmed the importance of air transport to their business success.
Being close to an airport with global connections, having the connectivity of global supply chains by air, and being able to reach offices within an hour of a major hub airport, are all winning aspects for a business traveller.
Another important topic that emerged from the report was the cost and sustainability of air transport. Significant government incentives to expand sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) capacity are essential to the industry’s commitment to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050.
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