Short-haul carriers in Europe have enjoyed “very healthy” growth this year, as passenger volumes and traffic far outpace seating increases and capacity, according to the ERA. Compared with last year’s first half, traveler numbers grew by 7.7 percent in the first six months of this year against a 5.3-percent increase in seats, said ERA director general Mike Ambrose.
In the same period, scheduled revenue passenger miles rose 9.7 percent alongside an increase of 7.8 percent in available seat miles, raising passenger load factor to 63.3 percent across the fleet. The first half ended with a record June figure of 68.1 percent, according to the ERA.
Meanwhile, average sector distance flown has risen “significantly,” climbing almost 3.5 percent to 352 miles, while typical aircraft size has increased to some 72 seats, factors that ERA suggests reflect greater numbers of turbofan-powered aircraft, which now make up some 61 percent of the fleet. Sector flight time averaged 1 hour, 13 minutes.