More than half of all new airlines launched in Europe in 2022


More than half of all new airlines appeared in Europe in 2022

As the European continent freed itself of all travel restrictions, airlines rushed to get back into business and catch up during the pandemic years. Despite an acute shortage of personnel, carriers were busy serving millions of passengers and even breaking traffic records. Among the usual names, several new airlines have appeared, the names of which are still little known.

While the numbers for newcomers are down from 58 “newborns” in 2021, this is quite in line with pre-pandemic figures, with 42 airlines taking to the skies in 2019. However, Europe also recorded the largest number of “deaths” — seven participants left the market due to the termination of the air operator certificate.

More than half of all new airlines appeared in Europe in 2022

One of the high-profile events in the region was the return of the British regional carrier Flybe, the Norwegian Norse Atlantic (founded in 2021, but began flying only in June 2022) and Niceair , which connects northern Iceland to the mainland. Many smaller ones have also appeared: from Air Alderney in the Channel Islands to Surcar in Spain.

True, experts predict a difficult life for European startups in the near future. Some of these already exist and are well known, such as the threat that low-cost airlines will be forced to cut margins further, while high fuel prices, airspace closures and more require new entrants to do otherwise. Added to this are problems with the cost of living and high inflation in many countries — All this can negatively affect the desire to travel. The factor that will hit newbies the most.

However, demand, contrary to forecasts, remains stable. Passengers have shown no signs that they have stopped traveling since COVID-19, and the summer of 2023 promises to be a record year in civil aviation history. Carriers expect millions more to take the journey. If things continue as they are, start-ups can survive and even thrive with high passenger numbers to offset the incoming costs. 

While Europe boasts the highest number of new projects, other regions of the world life also does not stand still. In the Dominican Republic, Arajet has launched and has already added more than a dozen destinations to its route network. Bonza, having spent the past year planning and acquiring aircraft, was certified in early January and can now fly.

2023 looks set to be another good year for global aviation, which will allow airlines to finally move from recovery to growth again.

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