Transavia aims for Pan-European LCC success

Dutch low-cost carrier Transavia is well known in its home market in the Netherlands and in France, where it has established a Transavia France division, but it is now seeking to grow in other European countries as it aims to establish itself as a pan-European airline brand.

After the opening of Transavia’s seventh base in Munich, the first outside of its home markets of France and the Netherlands, the airline now aims to reach the top five of pan-European low-cost carriers (LCCs).

Being the first LCC to open a base at the airport means the low-cost segment is still highly underrepresented in Munich. This opens up great potential for the airline through high demand for business travel in the region.

Jeroen Erdman, Head of Network Planning at Transavia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dutch national carrier KLM, explained what the future holds for the airline.

“We have a constant focus on cost and will be bringing unit cost down by a further 15 percent in the next three years, alongside plans to extend our network into Europe with the opening of multiple new bases outside the Netherlands and France.

“As well as this, we want to take a place in the top 5 of Pan European LCCs. This means we’ll have to grow considerably in the coming years, but we have made a good start this summer as we see a growth of 20 percent. Our aim is to become number one in our home markets and to occupy a leading and profitable position in the European point-to-point market.”

Through offering direct flights to holiday destinations such as Dubrovnik and Marrakech, Transavia has the opportunity to accommodate both business and leisure travellers. With the airport in Bavaria not only serving up to 40 million passengers annually but also the second largest airport in the country, this is a great opportunity for the airline.

“The current booking developments meet our expectations, but we are still aiming for one million passengers within the first year of our Munich flight operations” said Erdman.

“We welcomed our ten thousandth passenger after six days of flying from Munich. That is very promising, considering the first few months are always a challenge. Also, considering the fact that we started selling over two months later than we normally would, we are on track and the future looks bright.”

Although this may be Transavia’s first base located outside its home markets, this is not completely unfamiliar territory for the airline. “Nine years ago we started Transavia France together with Air France. Today, they are almost as big as Transavia in the Netherlands” explained Erdman.

“Therefore, I would say we are not completely unaccustomed to open foreign bases but we do need to develop that skill further as one of our core competencies. We are serving, to a great extent, a different customer group than our legacy mother company, and next to that we are the answer to other LCC competitors the group faces.

“The passenger experience we hold adds high value. We have our own unique offer to the passenger which consists of the fact that we give our customers a friendly and memorable experience. We are not per say the cheapest, but our low cost structures allows us to compete on price when necessary.”

This year Jeroen Erdman will be taking part in the ‘Who are the innovators and drivers of change in the European Market’ panel discussion at Routes Europe and expressed why he will be attending. “It gives us the opportunity to meet with a lot of airports in a short period. It gives as a picture on what happens at our current destinations but also leads to sometimes surprising choices for new airports,” he explained.


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