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Ryanair is Venice VCE’s top carrier, with easyJet much smaller than it was; Wizz Air is now third

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Venice VCE is Italy’s fifth-busiest airport. Between January and November 2023, it welcomed 10.6 million passengers. Despite a good recovery – traffic was about 2% lower than in 2019 – it fell by one place in the country’s rankings as Catania, which was fifth, grew by 6%.

Venice VCE January - November Pax 2023

Ryanair is VCE’s largest carrier

Historically, Ryanair – Italy’s largest operator – served Venice TSF for the Veneto region. Analysis of Cirium data shows that, aside from switching to the primary VCE in 2011 due to TSF’s runway works, it served the airport from 2016.

While easyJet was VCE’s largest carrier for many years, that changed in 2021 amid the pandemic. The gap widened in 2022 following Ryanair opening a three-aircraft base. The ULCC continues to be first, with Cirium data saying it has almost one in four departing seats (24%) in the first half of 2024 (January-June). VCE is the ULCC’s 37th most-served airport out of 235 in its network.

Not coincidentally, Wizz Air also opened its base in 2022 and is now the third-largest carrier. While Ryanair is much larger than it was in 2019, easyJet is barely half the size. Its network has reduced from 48 routes to 21, while Ryanair has grown from just four to 27. Despite Ryanair’s dominance, its capacity has fallen by 5% versus January-June 2023, with its network reducing from 35 routes.

Top 10 Venice VCE airlines 1H 2024

New and returning airlines include Qatar Airways

VCE welcomed SunExpress on 4 June 2023 with a 2-weekly service from Izmir. Less than a month later, PLAY started flying from Keflavik (2-weekly) on 29 June.

On 31 March 2024, Air Cairo will commence Sharm El Sheikh (weekly), having last served the route in 2019. Spain’s Air Europa returns on 21 June, with service from Madrid (2-daily); it previously operated it until 2020.

Dublin Airport

Then there is Qatar Airways. Having started Doha-VCE in June 2011, the route ended, like so many others, in 2020. However, it returns on 12 June with a daily service. Emirates serves VCE daily from Dubai.

Almost 100 destinations in the first half

According to Cirium data, 91% of VCE’s first-half capacity is deployed within Europe. The Middle East is next (4%), followed by North America (3%), and Africa/Asia (2%).

If the peak summer was analysed, North America would be second because of summer-seasonal service, including for cruises. Having last been served in 2020, American Airlines resumes Chicago ORD on 6 June (daily). It is one of nine routes to the US and Canada. This will help the summer recovery, with traffic lower in this peak period last year than in 2019.

VCE has non-stop flights to almost 100 destinations. Two were brand-new to its network in 2023: Jeddah and Riyadh, both served by Wizz Air (Riyadh ends in March). Some 12 destinations in Italy are served.

The domestic market accounts for fewer than one in five available seats (18%). However, partly due to Venice’s popularity for international inbound tourism, this is a much smaller proportion than other airports, such as Verona (35%), Bari (51%), Genoa (57%), Catania (61%), Palermo (73%) and Brindisi (74%).

Venice VCE Seasonality 2019-2023

Paris CDG is the leading destination

Continuing the trend that has existed for years,  Paris CDG is VCE’s most-served destination. In June, the 840-kilometre market has 58 weekly departures: 42 by Air France and 16 by easyJet. When Paris ORY is included (BVA is not served), metro Paris has marginally more first-half capacity than London – despite flights to LHR, LGW, and STN.

Top 10 Venice VCE destinations 1H 2024

Billund Airport