Low-cost airlines are likely to capture 25 percent of the European market by 2010, up from five percent now, a study by Mercer Management Consulting Inc shows. “Low cost airlines will develop much faster than they did in the United States, where they took 10 or 15 years,” said Michael Zea, presenting the study in Madrid yesterday. “The low cost segment will grow dramatically, going from five percent of the market today to 25 percent... in five to seven years time,” Zea, a Mercer partner, said. The study measures market share in passenger numbers. In revenue passenger kilometres (passengers times distance flown), budget carriers now have around three to four percent of the European market and will reach around 20 percent, Zea added. Airlines like Ryanair and easyJet have already made their mark in Britain. They and other new players are now pushing into the German market and are likely to try and get into France, Scandinavia, Italy and Spain next.

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