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Impact of Low-Cost airlines on rising flight prices in Spain for Summer 2024

Balearic Islands

In Summer 2024, low-cost airlines, which occupy 68.5% of Spain’s flight seat capacity, are set to push flight prices higher. This trend marks a significant deviation from the previous years where legacy carriers saw more substantial rate increases. Mabrian’s analysis highlights an 11.1% increase in seats by low-cost carriers, outpacing conventional airlines and impacting fare dynamics across Spain’s major air travel markets.

BALEARIC ISLANDS, SPAIN – Low-cost air routes fares, which currently represent 68.5% of the number of seats available on flights from and to Spain, are pushing up flight prices for 2024 summer season, based on an analysis by Mabrian, the global travel intelligence company. Although average prices on conventional airlines continue to be higher, the price increase is greater on low-cost airlines: this represents a shift in the global trend detected between 2021 and 2023, when legacy carriers’ fares grew 40% -while low-cost did a 6%, incrementing air tickets prices.

The data correspond to the interannual variation of prices published for flights between June 1 and September 15, 2024, for both flights to Spain from its five main source markets by air capacity (United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands), and to the five favourite destinations of Spanish travellers (Portugal, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Germany). Overall, flight fares from Spain’s five main source markets increased by 26%*, and rise 27%* for flights to Spanish favourite destinations.

Mabrian_chart1

The relevance of the low-cost airline share for the Spanish market and its impact on prices is reflected in Mabrian’s data. Thus, low-cost air capacity represents 68.5% of the total, which is equivalent to 37.61 million seats, compared to the 17.33 million conventional airlines operate, and in addition, they grow faster. Compared to 2023, the total number of air seats managed by low-cost airlines in the Spanish market has increased by 11.1% (4.1% in the case of conventional airlines); and since 2019, this increase has been 8.9% (9.3% in traditional companies).

Low-cost flights to and from United Kingdom, the fares that increase the most

Of the five inbound markets analysed, prices fell in only two of them when compared to the previous year: Italy (-5.4%, average price: 105 euros) and France (-6.8%, average price: 124 euros). Fares increased in the United Kingdom (+31.3%), the market that grew the most, with an average price of 210 euros; in Germany (+5.1%, average price: 187 euros), and in the Netherlands (+7.3%, average price: 176 euros).

Low-cost airline flights drive the price increase in United Kingdom (+42.2%, with an average price of €182, +11.3% increase on conventional airlines), and also in Germany (+12.4 % to 163 euros, compared to the 0.4% decrease in the average fares of conventional airlines). The Netherlands is the only market studied in which the average prices of both conventional airlines (10.4%, 255 euros) and low-cost airlines (7.4%, 146 euros) grow. In the cases of Italy and France, although average fares rise in low-cost seats (+18.3% and +19.5%, respectively), the decrease in prices on Italian regular lines of 39.3% and of 13.1% in the French, push average rates down.

Mabrian_chart2

In the case of flights departing from Spanish airports, the prices of low-cost seats to United Kingdom, Germany and France are behind the increases of +30.4%, +5.3% and +0.8% in those markets. The increases in fares are particularly notable on low-cost routes to United Kingdom (+38.4%), France (+22.2%) and Germany (+12.3%). Conversely, in Italy, despite the +19.5% increase in the average prices of low-cost flights, the -37.1% reduction in the average prices of legacy airlines lowers by -1.9% the average fares of the connectivity between Spain and Italy. Only in the case of flights to Portugal, one of the favourite travel destinations of Spaniards, fares increased by +4.5%, reflected both in traditional airlines (+1.5%, 138 euros) and in low cost (+10.5%, 84 euros).

As explained by Carlos Cendra Cruz, Director of Marketing and Communication at Mabrian: “The increases in average flight prices we are observing reflects, on the one hand, the rising operational costs of airlines; as well as the growing demand to and from Spain for this summer season. There is still room for adjustment for these rates on these traditionally summer routes, since we are dealing dynamic prices that will vary over the coming weeks, responding to the behaviour of demand.”

 

 

*Weighted average, based on capacity, of all markets analysed

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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