2022
9
UK Airlines Market Report 2022
2022-10-28T04:03:29+01:00
OX1101781
2195
156893
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Report
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“Although confidence in air travel should continue to improve following more than two years of disruption, the pressure on household finances will put both consumers’ and corporate travel budgets under…

UK Airlines Market Report 2022

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Description

The UK Airlines Market Report identifies consumers’ intentions to travel by air, decisive factors when choosing an airline and the impact of rising inflation on the UK aviation market. This report covers the UK aviation market size, market forecast, market segmentation and UK airline market trends.

Frequently Asked Market Research Questions in the UK Airline Industry

What is the market size of the UK airline market?

Mintel estimates that the volume of international passengers uplifted at UK airports will reach 179.8 million in 2022, while the number of domestic passengers is expected to reach 15.0 million in 2022.

What is the current status of the UK airline industry?

The relaxation of travel restrictions finally released the long-awaited pent-up demand for international travel leading to a sharp growth in bookings in 2022. However, multiple challenges are set to hamper recovery.

What are the major challenges in the UK airline industry?

Soaring inflation poses the biggest threat to the recovery of the UK airline industry. Meanwhile, the potential emergence of vaccine-resistant COVID-19 variants continues to pose a threat to overseas holidays and the UK aviation market size, with the majority of passengers worrying that some destinations may reintroduce restrictions over the coming winter period.

 

Airlines Industry Analysis – Trends and Statistics

Mintel’s UK airlines industry analysis indicates that confidence in air travel should continue to improve, although the pressure on household finances will put consumers’ travel budgets under pressure.

Meanwhile, there remain opportunities to sell premium experiences to affluent travellers, who are more likely to have built up lockdown savings. Other possibilities include using innovative technologies to speed up the overall time spent through the airport, improving airport dining experiences and enhancing tools to make it easier for travellers to find the lowest available fares.

Consumer behaviour in the UK airline industry

    • 56% of adults who expect to take fewer flights in the next 12 months will do so as they have less money to spend on travel.
    • 67% of UK flyers agree that low prices influence their choice of airline.

UK Airlines Market – Future Trends

Innovations around sustainable travel will be essential to enable the future growth of the UK aviation market. 53% of passengers would be open to flying more if environmentally friendly planes, such as electric aircraft, were available. Agreement rises significantly among those who plan to fly less because of concerns about the environmental impact of flying.

To discover more about the UK Airlines Market Report 2022, read our UK Holiday Planning and Booking Process Market Report 2022or take a look at our extensive Holidays and Travel Market Research.

Quickly Understand

  • Airlines industry analysis: How the rising cost of living will impact the recovery of the UK airlines market.
  • Intentions to travel by air and likely behavioural changes in 2023.
  • Decisive factors when choosing an airline.
  • Importance of airport attributes when flying from a UK airport.
  • Consumers’ perceptions of seven key players in the UK aviation market.
  • Explores UK aviation market size and UK airlines market share.

Popular UK Airlines Covered in this Report

Brands: Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Wizz Air, easyJet. Ryanair, Jet2.com, Alaska Airlines, BA CityFlyer, Aurigny Air Services, Loganair, TUI Airways .

Expert Analysis from a UK Travel Specialist

This report, written by Marloes de Vrie, a leading analyst in the travel sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the UK aviation market and add expert context to the numbers.

Although confidence in air travel should continue to improve following more than two years of disruption, the pressure on household finances will put both consumers’ and corporate travel budgets under pressure. Seen as less discretionary, the volume of VFR flights is expected to be more resilient during the current cost of living crisis, as was the case during the previous income squeeze.”

Marloes de Vries
Associate Director

 

 

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • The five-year outlook for the UK airlines market
      • Figure 1: Category outlook, 2022-27
    • The market
    • 2022 will be a much stronger year but multiple challenges hamper recovery
    • Cost of living crisis delays the recovery of the UK airlines market
      • Figure 2: International passenger numbers uplifted at UK airports, 2017-27
      • Figure 3: Domestic passenger numbers uplifted from UK airports, 2017-27
    • Government support mainly benefits higher earners
    • APD changes will reduce the tax on domestic flights to support domestic connectivity
    • UK government publishes Jet Zero strategy for net-zero aviation by 2050
    • Companies and brands
    • Wizz Air continued to expand during the pandemic
    • Jet2.com has strengthened its position during the pandemic
    • Emirates offers economy passengers the option to trade up to premium economy
    • The consumer
    • High earners most likely to take flights, with gap set to widen
      • Figure 4: Flying habits prior to COVID-19, by purpose, 2022
    • VFR segment expected to lead the recovery
      • Figure 5: Intention to take flights in the next 12 months, by purpose, 2022
    • Airlines will have to ensure passengers feel comfortable booking domestic flights
      • Figure 6: Intentions to visit destinations by air in the next 12 months, 2022
    • Older passengers are less eager to return to the skies as often as before the pandemic
      • Figure 7: Changes in the number of flights expected compared to prior to COVID-19, by age and annual household income, 2022
    • Soaring inflation poses the biggest threat to the recovery of the airlines market
      • Figure 8: Reasons for taking fewer flights compared to prior to COVID-19, by age, 2022
    • Price is the leading factor when choosing an airline…
      • Figure 9: Factors influencing choice of airline, 2022
    • …but a good range of flight times and good customer service can broaden appeal
    • Innovations focussed on speed can help airports gain a competitive advantage
      • Figure 10: Most important airport attributes when flying from a UK airport, 2022
    • Airport foodservices seen as overpriced and chaotic
    • Broad support among passengers for biometric checks
      • Figure 11: Attitudes towards flying, 2022
    • SAF and electric planes will help to enable future growth of the airlines market
  3. Issues and Insights

    • The challenge to offering a low price amid rising operation costs
    • Offering a flexible booking calendar
    • Enhancing the flexibility of search technology
    • Introducing subscription programmes
    • Airport food experiences require improvements
  4. Market Size and Performance

    • International and domestic passenger volumes remained well below pre-COVID-19 levels in 2021
    • 2022 will be a much stronger year but multiple challenges hamper recovery
      • Figure 12: Passenger numbers uplifted at UK airports, 2016-22
  5. Market Forecast

    • The five-year outlook for the UK airlines market
      • Figure 13: Category outlook, 2022-27
    • Cost of living crisis delays the recovery of the UK airlines market
      • Figure 14: International passenger numbers uplifted at UK airports, 2017-27
      • Figure 15: Domestic passenger numbers uplifted from UK airports, 2017-27
    • Learnings from the last income squeeze
    • Forecast methodology
  6. Market Drivers

    • Energy price cap prevented consumer confidence from falling further…
    • … but consumer concerns remain strong
      • Figure 16: The Financial Confidence Index, 2009-22
    • Many proposed changes to the UK’s tax arrangements abolished following market reaction
    • Government support mainly benefits higher earners
    • Increased operational costs put pressure on ticket prices
      • Figure 17: Europe Brent Spot price, yearly averages 2010-21, forecast for 2022-23
    • UK government publishes Jet Zero strategy for net-zero aviation by 2050
    • APD changes will reduce the tax on domestic flights to support domestic connectivity
    • Staff shortages continue to impact some companies’ services
    • Holiday bookings kept up well throughout the summer months
      • Figure 18: Holiday bookings in the last three months, 2016-22
    • Holiday booking intentions were around pre-pandemic levels in September 2022
      • Figure 19: Plans to book a holiday in the next three months, 2016-22
  7. Market Share

    • Wizz Air continued to expand its number of bases during the pandemic
      • Figure 20: Top 10 UK-based airlines, by passenger numbers uplifted globally, 2017-21
    • Jet2.com has strengthened its position during the pandemic
    • Airlines further extend partnerships
    • easyJet adds more partners to its connection service
    • British Airways and Qatar Airways ‘Move Further Together’
    • Ryanair adds flights in response to competitor cancellations
    • Increased competition on routes to the US…
    • …while start-ups plan to launch services on underserved routes to India in 2022
  8. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • Technological innovations to help improve the airport experience
    • Delta offers personalised airport experience through Parallel Reality technology
    • RDU opens virtual food hall with gate delivery service
    • Airlines introduce new premium experiences
    • Air New Zealand will offer sleep pods to economy passengers in 2024
    • Emirates offers economy passengers the option to trade up to premium economy
    • Virgin Atlantic’s Retreat Suites will take off in October 2022
    • Roadmaps for a greener aviation industry continue to be rolled out
    • New steps taken to make urban air mobility a reality
    • London City Airport aims to become London’s first net-zero airport
    • Innovations to enhance inclusivity in the airlines market
    • MSP Airport opens mock cabin to promote travel equity
    • PLAY stays away from traditional outfits and instructions for its cabin crew
    • Virgin Atlantic amends ticketing system for gender-neutral passport holders
  9. Advertising and Marketing Activity

    • Above-the-line spend by airlines is recovering at a slower pace
      • Figure 21: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on ads by airlines, 2018-21 and H1 2018-H1 2022
    • Emirates was the second biggest ad spender in 2021
      • Figure 22: Top 10 above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on ads by airlines, 2019-21
    • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
  10. Brand Research

    • Brand map
      • Figure 23: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, 2022
    • Key brand metrics
      • Figure 24: Key metrics for selected brands, 2022
    • Brand attitudes: Virgin Atlantic closely associated with worth paying more for
      • Figure 25: Attitudes, by brand, 2022
    • Brand personality: easyJet and Wizz Air seen as accessible airlines
      • Figure 26: Brand personality – macro image, 2022
    • Of the low-cost airlines, Jet2.com is most closely associated with being caring and reliable
      • Figure 27: Brand personality – micro image, 2022
    • Brand analysis
    • Reliable performance has boosted Jet.com’s image
      • Figure 28: Satisfaction of brands operating in the airlines market, 2019-22
    • easyJet had the highest usage level in the year to August 2022
    • Ryanair continues to enjoy high usage despite relatively low customer ratings
    • Wizz Air increased its brand awareness
    • Despite decline, British Airways continues to have the highest share of committed users
      • Figure 29: Commitment towards brands operating in the airlines market, 2019-22
    • Despite decline, Virgin Atlantic enjoys the highest customer satisfaction and recommendation levels
  11. Flights by Purpose and Destination

      • Figure 30: Flying habits prior to COVID-19, by purpose, 2022
    • VFR segment expected to lead the recovery
      • Figure 31: Intention to take flights in the next 12 months, by purpose, 2022
    • Three in four passengers plan to fly to a short-haul destination in the coming year
    • Airlines will have to ensure passengers feel comfortable booking domestic flights
      • Figure 32: Intentions to visit destinations by air in the next 12 months, 2022
  12. Changes to Frequency

    • Older passengers are less eager to return to the skies as often as before the pandemic
    • Younger passengers are keen to fly more
    • There continue to be opportunities to sell more premium experiences
    • Emirates uses VR to showcase signature products
      • Figure 33: Changes in the number of flights expected compared to prior to COVID-19, by age and annual household income, 2022
    • Soaring inflation poses the biggest threat to the recovery of the airlines market
    • There remain fears over potential disruption over the coming winter period
      • Figure 34: Reasons for taking fewer flights compared to prior to COVID-19, by age, 2022
  13. Decisive Factors when Choosing an Airline

    • Price is the leading factor when choosing an airline…
      • Figure 35: Factors influencing choice of airline, 2022
    • …but a good range of flight times and good customer service can broaden appeal
      • Figure 36: Factors influencing choice of airline, TURF analysis, 2022
    • Business travellers are the least price-sensitive segment
  14. Important Airport Attributes

    • Innovations focussed on speed can help airports gain a competitive advantage
    • Private jet experiences have benefited
      • Figure 37: Most important airport attributes when flying from a UK airport, 2022
    • Airport foodservices seen as overpriced and chaotic
      • Figure 38: Most important airport attributes when flying from a UK airport, by age, 2022
  15. Attitudes towards Flying

    • Majority of passengers are concerned about the expected price increase of flight tickets
      • Figure 39: Consumer concerns about expected price increase of flight tickets, 2022
    • Broad support among passengers for biometric checks
      • Figure 40: Attitudes towards flying, 2022
    • SAF and electric planes will help to enable future growth of the airlines market
  16. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology
    • TURF methodology
      • Figure 41: Factors influencing choice of airline, TURF analysis – table output, 2022
  17. Appendix: Forecast Methodology

    • Market forecast and prediction intervals
      • Figure 42: Total passenger numbers uplifted at UK airports, 2022-27
      • Figure 43: International passenger numbers uplifted at UK airports, 2022-27
      • Figure 44: Domestic passenger numbers uplifted at UK airports, 2022-27
    • Market drivers and assumptions
    • Forecast methodology

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

Market

Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

Consumer

Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

Brand/Company

Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

Data

Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our databooks* are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

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