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Spain ranks third regarding new airline routes in 2017

The specialised online airline platform anna.aero has announced the results of some research they conducted, looking at the new routes introduced by different international airline companies in 2017. In total, airline companies established 3,524 new routes in 2017 with a weekly average of 3.6 flights per route.

Low-cost airlines dominated 2017

The low-cost and budget airlines dominated the market accounting for two-thirds of the top 21, while only 4 traditional airline companies made it on the ranking. Ryanair remained at the top for the second year running, reaffirming its position as the leader in creating new routes. In 2017, the Irish airline company introduced no less than 278 routes compared to the 200 they developed in 2016.

The 2017 list of top 5 new route initiators was completed by Eurowings (125 new routes), Wizz Air (104), Frontier Airlines (91) and easyJet (79). Remarkably, Eurowings took the place of Spanish airline company Vueling that did not even enter in the anna.aero top 21. The only Spanish airline to feature in the top 21 was Volotea in 9th place.

Spain third in international ranking

While Spain ranked in 2nd place in 2017 when it comes to international visitors, it ranked 3rd in regards to initiating new flight routes (425). The US remained at the top in 2017, with 971 new routes, followed by Germany, Spain and the UK. The research identified that Germany replaced Spain in the ranking when compared to 2016.

The positions held by the top 15 in 2017 more or less remained the same when compared to 2016, however, Japan lost its ranking and was replaced by Thailand. 

It was amazing to see that 7 European Union countries feature in the top 15 for the innovation of new flight routes.

Airlines and airports

New route introduction in 2017 was dominated by European airports, with 11 European airports ranking in the top 15. Germany and the UK were the main European countries represented on this list, with 4 airports each positioned in the top 15. Other non-EU airports completing the top 15 were airports from the US, Russia, Turkey and Malaysia. 

Airports Munich and Frankfurt top this list thanks to Eurowings starting 30 new services from Munich. Furthermore, Frankfurt benefited from Ryanair installing a new base at its airport. Birmingham and London occupied 3rd and 4th place with each 47 new services launched in 2017. This is mainly thanks to Jet2.com launching 22 new routes in Birmingham and 29 in London. Despite the fact that Madrid airport was the busiest Spanish airport in 2017, it does not feature in the top 15 ranking of new flight routes.

2018 prospects

According to anna.aereo, 2018 is expected to surpass the results of 2017. Some 1,415 new routes have already been planned and will be ready for implementation by 168 airlines. The majority of these new routes are being pioneered by easyJet (74) and Eurowings (73), followed by Germania and WizzAir (59 each), and Ryanair (58).

SAS tops the list of European traditional airline companies in 2018 with 24 new routes announced followed by Lufthansa (11), British Airways and Iberia (9 each).

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