Feb 18, 2020
CarTrawler Global Estimate of a la Carte Revenue yields regional details from the worldwide total of $75.6 billion.
Dublin, Ireland & Shorewood, Wisconsin, 18 February 2020: The birthplace of airline a la carte revenue—Europe—continues to lead the globe in annual growth for this key sales component. And the world’s fastest-growing air travel market, Asia, is not far behind.
IdeaWorksCompany, the foremost consultancy on airline ancillary revenues, and CarTrawler, the leading technology platform providing end to end transport solutions for online businesses, recently estimated airline a la carte revenue at $75.6 billion worldwide for 2019. The CarTrawler Global Statistics of a la Carte Revenue adds regional details and 2015 comparisons to the figures from the earlier November 2019 release.
Each year IdeaWorksCompany, through the sponsorship of CarTrawler, analyzes the ancillary revenue disclosures for airlines all over the world. These results are applied to a larger list of carriers (which numbered 160 for 2019) to estimate ancillary revenue activity for the world’s airlines. A la carte activity is a significant component of ancillary revenue and consists of the amenities consumers can add to their air travel experience. These include fees paid for checked baggage, assigned seats, buy-on-board meals, early boarding, and onboard entertainment.
Aileen McCormack, Chief Commercial Officer at CarTrawler.
The 2019 Global Regions Snapshot table further demonstrates how a la carte activity varies by region. The prevalence of low cost carriers in a region actually drives the level of ancillary revenue; a higher concentration of low cost carriers (LCCs) boosts ancillary revenue and a la carte results.
The clear lines which once separated traditional airlines and LCCs have become blurred. Traditional airlines built their brand on an all-inclusive service with economy fares that included a checked bag, pre-assigned seating, and the ability to make reservation changes. This is changing through the growing adoption of basic economy fares. Etihad Airways, which is routinely ranked among the world’s best for service, now generates a la carte revenue from standard seat assignments, first class lounge access, Wifi service, and premium snack items in the economy cabin. Meanwhile, LCCs increasingly aim for business travelers, which is a core market for traditional airlines.
EasyJet’s Plus membership provides early boarding, fast track security, extra leg room seats, and express bag drop. The only items missing from the offer are lounge access and a glass of sparkling wine. Oh wait . . . those are available as a la carte services also sold by easyJet. This is the magic of the a la carte method. It frees airlines from rigidly providing the same perks for all economy passengers. Instead, passengers can click and choose the comfort and convenience that best meets their needs and budget. The revenue increase of 106% from 2015 to 2019 is solid proof a la carte sales and ancillary revenue work for consumers and airlines throughout the world.
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