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New analysis reveals intensifying airport competition in Europe

Brussels, Belgium - The key findings of this study were presented by Olivier Jankovec, DG of ACI EUROPE

Within the context of the current evaluation by the European Commission of the EU Directive on airport charges and in parallel to the World Routes air route development conference currently taking place in Barcelona, ACI EUROPE today releases compelling evidence of growing competition amongst Europe’s airports. This evidence comes from a new study produced by Oxera under the direction of Harry Bush, former Group Director of Economic Regulation at the UK Civil Aviation Authority. The key findings of this study entitled “The Continuing Development of Airport Competition” were presented today at the European Aviation Club in Brussels by Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE as part of his State of the Airport Industry address. As already established by previous studies, competition between airports for airlines and passengers is an indisputable part of the European air transport system. The latest research by Oxera reveals that both the nature and intensity of that competition have significantly changed since 2010, fueled by the cumulative impact of disruptive market developments, including the relentless expansion of both Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) and Gulf airlines and the convergence of airlines’ business models. Not just smaller and regional airports In its new study, Oxera also points to the development of much increased competitive pressures at medium-sized and larger airports – including hubs. Indeed, route churn rates - which indicate the extent of route switching– have gone up primarily at these airports and are actually converging with those of smaller airports. The main factors at play here are the move of LCCs into primary airports, the development of powerful competing hubs in the Middle East, the beginnings of new hubbing capabilities at other airports with passenger self-connections and LCCs and airports offering new connecting products, as well as the availability of more direct air services that allow passengers to by-pass hubs entirely.

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