Irish LCC Ryanair has once again proven itself a worthy opponent to other Old World airlines, by officially becoming Europe’s number one airline by passengers carried after Lufthansa – the previous holder of the title – reported a comparatively small 1.8% in the number of travelers carried in 2016.
Ryanair, luring in passengers from other airlines by its low ticket fare policy, reportedly carried 117 million passengers (a 15% increase YoY) in 2016, beating Lufthansa that had flown 109.7 million during the same period.
A steep upward trend is seen in the reports of other European budget airlines, with Wizz Air having flown 19% more passengers (22.7 million) in 2016 than in 2015. Scandinavian LCC Norwegian Air Shuttle saw a 14% YoY increase in passenger carried to 29 million.
Despite stiff competition, Lufthansa is still the largest airline group in Europe by revenue due to operating more long-haul routes than its competitors and managing its own catering and MRO business units.