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Why We Can Expect More Competition among European Low Cost Carriers Post-Pandemic

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Document pages: 28 pages

Abstract: This study considers the network development of the three largest European Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) easyJet, Ryanair and Wizz Air during the pre-pandemic period and the pandemic period. Network developments are characterized in terms of the route numbers, city-pair numbers, frequencies, market sizes in terms of GDP, and network overlaps. The LCC flight networks maintained in the pre-pandemic period and the pandemic period and especially the peak month August are compared to derive insights on the intensity of LCC competition in Europe. Competition is considered as most intense on routes or origin-destination city pairs which are maintained in parallel by airlines. The results indicate that LCC network overlaps were growing substantially at the end of the pre-pandemic period and especially during the pandemic period. Wizz Air increasingly expanded their network and or diverted flights into markets that had already been served by Ryanair and easyJet. The development of network overlaps during the pandemic is considered as an indicator for the intensity of the competition among LCCs in Europe after the pandemic.

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