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Low Cost Airlines





A low cost airlines offers air transport at comparatively lower rates. Such an airline is also referred to as a discount airline or a no frills carrier. The ticket prices are lowered by minimizing some of the passenger facilities that are usually offered on other airlines.

The low cost airlines concept emerged in the United States of America and gradually spread to Europe in the 1990s. Nowadays, most countries of the world have low cost airlines.

The low cost airline concept came in vogue with the airlines operating on lower costs been referred to as such. It is also applicable for airlines that operate on lower ticket prices. However, low cost airlines should not be mistaken as regional airlines. They also conduct international flights but at a lower rate.

The first low cost airline began its operations in USA in 1949 when a flight of the Pacific Southwest Airlines flew on its maiden flight. In Europe the leading low cost airline companies include Ryanair based in Ireland and EasyJet. While Ryanair was established in 1990, Easyjet was founded in 1995. The inception of several other discount airlines companies came with the introduction of aviation deregulation model in Europe and its subsequent popularity. The concept gradually spread to other parts of the globe and this was evident with the emergence of airlines like Air Deccan in India, AirAsia in Malaysia and Virgin Blue in Australia.

Some of the luxury airline companies also stepped into the no frills airline market with their low cost versions. These include Go by the British Airways, Buzz by KLM, Ted by United and Air India Express by Air India.

Some of the features of a low cost airline include:
  • A fleet comprising a singular type of aircraft like a Boeing 737 or a Airbus A320 which helps to minimize operations cost
  • A single class for passengers
  • The airline flies to secondary airports and at times when air traffic is less to avoid traffic and delay.
  • These airlines mostly conduct direct flights.
  • Booking is mainly through the Internet.
  • Low cost airlines follow a simple fare structure
The first low cost airline to offers international flight services was Laker's Airways that operated a no frills translatlantic flight from London to New York City in the 1970s.

  List of Low Cost Airlines