The German Aerospace Center says it is getting cheaper and cheaper to fly within Europe, and that budget airlines are gaining market share.
Ryanair passengers are suffering travel disruptions as German pilots and cabin crew have launched a 24-hour strike over better pay and conditions. The Irish low-cost carrier also faces an autumn of discontent elsewhere.
The budget airline has shrugged off the grounding of 20,000 flights last winter — and has carried nearly 12 million more passengers. Looking ahead, the Irish carrier predicts headwinds from a doubling of oil prices.
Germany's flag carrier is expanding rapidly after taking over a large part of the fleet of insolvent rival Air Berlin. The hiring spree will boost payrolls at both Lufthansa itself and its low-cost subsidiary Eurowings.
Aviation watchers will know it has been a challenging year in European skies. UK airline easyJet has felt the squeeze like many of its rivals. Yet it's bullish about the future despite a sharp fall in profits.
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