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Fast-growing Sky Express is Greece’s second-largest carrier; 130 scheduled routes in Q2

Sky Express at Milan 2022

Sky Express has nearly 1.7 million available seats in Q2 2024 (April-June), based on Cirium schedules information. It is Greece’s second-largest operator behind Aegean. Mainly due to the international market, Sky Express’ capacity has risen by 8% year-on-year to a record high. Planespotters.net shows that the carrier has 25 aircraft: 10 ATR 72s, nine A320neos and CEOs, four ATR 42s, and two A321neos. Its first A320 arrived in 2020 and transformed its international operations.

Sky Express Q2 Development 2010-2024

Number two domestically and seventh internationally

Sky Express started life in 2005 as a small Greek domestic operator, focusing on island-hopping services around the Greek archipelago. The domestic market remains its foundation, with 63% of Q2 capacity deployed there. The ATR, A320neo, and A321neo are all used.

It has just under a third of all intra-Greece seats (30%), behind only Aegean (53%). It is three and a half times the size of Olympic Air. Sky Express’ domestic capacity has risen by 116% versus Q2 2019 when it exclusively flew domestically using its ATR-only fleet. Its share of the market has nearly doubled since then.

Introduced 31 international routes in 2023

Sky Express’ international capacity has grown considerably recently, coinciding with the arrival and expansion of its Airbus fleet. According to Air Service One’s New European Routes Database (NERD), it introduced 31 new international routes in 2023, more than half of which (16) were unserved. It began more routes than Aegean (26 international).

Heraklion welcomed more new routes by Sky Express (10) than anywhere else, followed by Rhodes (seven) and Athens (six). The last two additions started in December: Athens-Vienna on 4 December (2-weekly) and Athens-Budapest on 22 December (2-weekly). Others from the Greek capital were Katowice on 1 June (weekly), followed by three on 29 October: Düsseldorf (4-weekly), Frankfurt (6), and Warsaw WAW (5).

Prague Airport

Despite the growth, Sky Express has just 3% of Greece’s international scheduled capacity. Six other carriers are larger: Aegean, Ryanair, easyJet, Jet2.com, Eurowings, and TUI Airways. Sky Express’ international share rises to 5% at Athens, its leading airport network-wide of 85+ served by scheduled flights in Q2. Some 33 are in Greece.

Top 10 Sky Express airports Q2 2024

130 scheduled routes

Sky Express has 49 domestic routes in these three months. Just over one in two (55%) is from Athens, showing how spread out its network is. However, those other routes, while big in number, are typically thin: 90% of the carrier’s domestic available seats are to/from Athens.

They are joined by 81 international scheduled airport pairs, which are from eight Greek airports. Heraklion has the most routes (34), but most are served infrequently. Athens is next (15). Like the domestic market, the Greek capital has by far the greatest international capacity (63%) from much higher frequencies.

Not surprisingly, Sky Express’ leading route is between Greece’s two most populous cities: Athens and Thessaloniki. There are 30 one-way flights a week in May (A320neo, ATR), competing directly with Aegean’s 71 (A320ceo, A321neo). Examining Cirium data shows that the 300-kilometre market was served by Astra in 2019, Elinair until 2021, Olympic Air until 2022, and Ryanair until 2019.

Top 10 Sky Express routes Q2 2024

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