Speaking at the opening of Routes Europe in Hannover on Monday, David Stroud, the managing director of route development consultancy ASM, said consolidation could have a major impact on Europe’s airlines
He said this was because with 37% of the European market is currently being operated by non-major airlines, compared to 14% in the US where a process of consolidation has largely left a few major players.
While he admitted the culture in Europe is different, he added: “There’s going to be less brands perhaps in the next few years”
Stroud said air traffic management, rising oil prices and the uncertainty of Brexit also remain issues.
However, he argued the airline industry has a history of dealing with major issues, from 9/11 to swine fever, and he was hopeful that any further problems could be handled too.
Stroud also said there was much to celebrate, with 600 million additional passengers expected to take to the skies in the next 20 years across the continent.
He said much of the growth will be met by the 287 European airports currently growing capacity while Europe’s airlines have 3,133 aircraft on order with options on a further 686.
Stroud added there have also been as many as 752 new routes launched in the continent since September last year.
“Whatever headwinds we face, this looks like a vibrant market where there’s still a lot of energy and a lot of things going on,”he said.