We have previously done a story on the apparent bullying of Air Italy by the US big three carriers.   Readers will see that we came out sympathetic to Air Italy.  We have updated our models with the most recent DoT data and discovered why, perhaps, part of the US airline industry is so vehement about any airline associated with the ME3.  We are using the US-Italy traffic for this example using the T-100 Segment as our source.

Subscribers can view the detailed model from here.

This chart illustrates nicely why the US carriers are upset.  This chart shows the traffic from the US to Italy.  The 2019 data is only for January and will change as newer data gets published. But even before 2019, we can see a trend.  And that trend shows the US carriers losing share. The market share loss is across the board – both EU and ME carriers are eating their lunch. US airlines are seeing steady market share erosion.

Amusingly, when drilling into the 2019 data we find that Air Italy had the second-lowest load factor at 57% in January with Emirates the lowest at 56%.  Delta was at 79%, United at 80% and American at 73%.  Alitalia was 77%. There is another disruptive brand here called Norwegian – with a 65% load factor. But an EU-based airline can’t be complained about.

Take a look at the actual reported traffic numbers.  Click on the chart to expand it.

American benefitted from taking over US Airways (or was that the other way around?).  United grew with the Continental merger.  We put the defunct airlines in shades of gray.  Notice the US carriers have all seen absolute growth in traffic terms.

Then notice that Emirates has carved out steady traffic for this market. Norwegian came from nowhere and was ahead of Emirates in 2018.  Then, at the bottom of the chart, we see the tiny fraction Air Italy accounted for.

In 2018 Air Italy and Emirates took close to 10% of the market. As the following chart illustrates, the Italian market is growing and US big three clearly don’t think they are getting what they “deserve”.

Which means anyone not “deserving” to be in the market must be eliminated.

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Addison Schonland
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Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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