Professional: low cost airlines: from booking - to landing

When I bought air tickets from a budget air company five years ago, I wondered if there was a pilot on the plane, so cheap was this option compared to some of the well-known giants. These days, small companies have become a big phenomenon in business, and they continue to expand. The new question concerns long-haul budget trips - do they have a future? Today we publish some contrasting opinions on the development of these airlines.


Traveling to the Heart of Europe

Sara Thopson

Prague Ruzyně Airport continues to attract new air carriers, and existing carriers are opening more routes. In 2006 the airport’s operator, Letiště Praha, cleared a record 11.5 million passengers, some 7.5 percent more than in 2005, and the number of take-offs and landings has increased over the same period by 4 percent to 166,346 ...

SKY Europe Case Study

Michael Trout

SkyEurope Airlines is a leading low-cost airline in the Central Europe. With its bases in Slovakia (Bratislava and Košice), Czech Republic (Prague), Hungary (Budapest) and Poland (Krakow and Warsaw), it is also the first airline with several bases in the Central European region. It operates a fleet of 16 airplanes in a network of 37 destinations in 19 countries. The head office is located in Bratislava...

EasyJet: from E-hatred to E-dependency

Richard Moor

EasyJet was founded by Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the son of a Greek shipping tycoon who reputedly used to ‘hate the Internet’. In the mid 1990s Haji-Ioannou reportedly denounced the Internet as something ‘for nerds’, and swore that it wouldn’t do anything for his business. This is no longer the case since by August 1999, the site accounted for 38 per cent of ticket sales or over 135,000 seats...

Low Cost And Long Haul: Can It Work?

Samuel Dorsi

Last November Hong Kong-based Oasis Airlines started offering flights from Hong Kong to London's Gatwick airport at ridiculously low prices. Hong Kong being a former British colony means that there is enough traffic between the two countries. Over the years British Airways and Cathay Pacific had established a cozy duopoly on the route. Now, Oasis, the new challenger, has shaken things up a bit. Oasis's economy class passengers pay between two-thirds and half (about 250 pounds for a return ticket...

Asia's Discount Airlines Reach for the West

William Law

Spurred by open-skies policies and booming tourism, low-cost airlines are mushrooming across Asia. Most have adopted the business model pioneered in the 1970s by Southwest Airlines – lean, mean, and affordable – to fly budget-conscious passengers around the region. Competition on popular routes such as Bangkok-Singapore – a 2-1/2-hour hop – has cut round-trip fares to just over $100, including taxes...