Low Cost Airlines – Europe

                                                     

Background

In 1993, the European Community deregulated commercial airline traffic and  national airlines lost their monopolies.

Growth

The result has been spectacular, with dozens of new airlines flying hundreds of different routes at lower fares than ever before. Some of the new airlines failed, but presently there are over 60 low-cost airlines flying within Europe.

Low cost Airlines and Fares.

The largest is the Irish airline, Ryanair, which carried over 79 million passengers in 2012 in a fleet of 305 planes, operating from numerous hubs in Europe. I have flown Ryanair many times, also easyJet (59 million passengers) and Wizzair (based in Budapest). To find low-cost airlines’ hubs and routes, check links at the bottom of this page.Sample fares for summer 2013 within Europe range from London/Istanbul (easyJet, from $60) to Paris/Rome (Ryanair, from $57) to Athens/Paris (easyJet, from $88).

How they operate

The formula depends of quick turnaround of flights, use of one aircraft type, charging passengers substantial fees for anything possible, and use of secondary airports. This means that Paris may be Beauvais Airport, 55 miles north. There is always ground transportation to these airports, but you may need to allow more time to get there.  Early booking is the key to getting cheap flights. 

Beware

Don’t expect to get treatment like on other airlines, in fact get ready to be treated sometimes like cattle. Pay attention in advance to baggage fees, cancellation policy and other items where the airline will stick it to you. But you can’t beat the price.

Picture show an easyJet Boeing at Glasgow Airport  (credit: puddy_uk)

Europe by Air

This organization is a booking agency 20 European low-cost, but not Ryanair or easyJet.

Go to their website, noted below, and click on their route map to see which cities they serve. You won’t get such good deals as with individual carriers when booking early, but it might be worth checking out this site.

 

Links.

Low Cost Airlines           http://www.low-cost-airline-guide.com

Europe by Air                    www.EuropebyAir.com

 

Jim Glendinning About Jim Glendinning

I am a Footloose Scot who has traveled to 136 countries. "I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move." Robert Louis Stevenson
Read about Jim Glendinning and his book Footloose Scot: Travels In A Time Of Change

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