Airlines - UK - July 2013
“Significant volume growth is unlikely in the key UK outbound leisure travel segment until there is a sustained revival in consumer confidence and growth in household income. Even then growth rates are likely to be modest compared with the pre-recessionary boom years. In the domestic market, outside of the dominant self-drive segment, there is an underlying shift towards domestic rail, which has become more competitive on cost and time with air travel, as well as offering businesses a greener and more CSR-friendly alternative.”
– John Worthington, Senior Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:
- How can airlines respond in an era of high costs?
- Is the UK falling out of love with budget airlines?
- How can airlines best target the increasingly important over-55 population?
- What is the best response to green ‘flying guilt’?
The volume of passengers uplifted at UK airports increased marginally in 2012. However, within that overall story are concealed a number of different narratives: the rising volume and market share of budget airlines, the falling share of full-service flights, the sharp falls seen in domestic air travel and overseas charter flights.
Airlines are struggling to adapt to a ‘new normal’ of volatile fuel prices, uncertainty over airport infrastructure development, subdued demand for leisure and business travel and fickle consumers for whom online price comparison is now second nature.
This report analyses market trends, leading airline brands and innovations, and detailed consumer analysis including who flies, where, why, what type of flight and how often; what influences people to select a particular airline; potential loyalty incentives; how long people are prepared to travel on a budget flight; and attitudes towards flying.
A low-cost/no-frills airline (or LCC – Low-cost Carrier) is one that offers low fares by eliminating many traditional passenger services (eg free food on board). Examples include easyJet and Ryanair. This type of airline contrasts with full-service airlines which do offer such services, but charge higher fares (for example British Airways).
A charter airline is one on which seats are usually sold as part of a package holiday but any left over can be sold off to passengers booking independently. Examples include Thomson Airways and Thomas Cook Airlines. This contrasts with scheduled airlines where flights run to a set timetable with seats bought individually by passengers. This category encompasses both full-service and low-cost/no-frills airlines (so, for example, both British Airways and easyJet are scheduled airlines).
An adult, for the purposes of Mintel’s research, is anyone aged 16 or over.
The standard travel and tourism definitions used in the terminology of this report are as follows:
- tourism is any travel, which involves an overnight stay away from home.
- a holiday is a subjectively defined form of tourism, as defined by the tourist in response to surveys such as IPS or GBTS. A holiday can be distinguished from other leisure travel such as visits to friends and relatives (VFR) or shopping trips.
- a long holiday is a holiday of four nights or more away from home; a short break is a holiday that involves one to three nights away from home.
- short-haul refers to air holidays within Europe, dominated by flights to Mediterranean resorts but including the Canary Islands, which are treated as a part of the Spanish market. Long-haul, therefore, refers to holidays outside Europe.
- an inclusive tour, or package holiday, is defined as the simultaneous sale of at least two elements of a holiday to the traveller: fares on public transport (eg flights) and commercial accommodation (eg hotel or self-catering apartment). Other elements, such as meals or excursions, are not essential to the definition of an inclusive tour. The term ‘all-inclusive’ is used to describe a special type of resort holiday in which food, drink, excursions and other services are provided as part of the total holiday cost.
- an independent holiday is one in which the traveller organises and books transport and accommodation from separate sources (eg a Channel ferry crossing and a caravan site in France).
- seat- or flight-only is a type of independent holiday, and the terms are used to denote holidays in which travellers only purchase a return fare and thereafter book their own accommodation, car hire etc.
EU Europe (15) destinations refer to the member countries in the European Union prior to the accession of ten further countries in 2004. The EU 15 destinations are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
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* This is a sample representation of the report layout and does not reflect the research included in this report.
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