Cheap flights, cheap tickets… the search for budget flights has nowadays turned into a daily treasure hunt. It is not surprising that low-cost companies have sprouted and account now for more than 25% of the world’s aviation business. With Europe being the top destination for travellers from all over the world, nowhere has the rise of the budget airline revolutionised travel so much as in this continent. Here are our top 6 european budget airlines that offer cheap flights.
6 – WOW Air
In 2014, the young low-coster took the very respectable seventh place on Skytrax’s line-up of the best budget carriers currently criss-crossing the skies of the continent. That’s great news for any travel eager to dip its toes in the bubbling mineral waters of the Blue Lagoon, explore the wondrous and unpronounceable volcanic peaks or get to the chance to see the northern lights that have made the country so famous.
5 – Vueling
Its name comes from the Spanish word vuelo, which means flight.Vueling serves over 100 destinations in Africa, Asia and Europe and is currently the second largest airline in Spain. In 2014, the airline carried more than 17.2 million passengers, with a load factor of about 80% and more than a hundred aircrafts. Vueling’s Largest Hub includes Barcelona, Rome, Madrid, Bilbao, Palma and Ibiza, Florence and Brussels being smaller hubs.
4 – Air Berlin
This company is more of a hybrid between a low-cost and a traditional airline, with more than 170 planes serving 163 cities. It is Germany’s second largest airline, after Lufthansa, and Europe’s ninth largest airline in terms of passengers carried. As of December 2015, Air Berlin operates indeed as a semi-low-cost network with a focus on some European metropolitan routes and several holiday destinations in the Mediterranean region, the Canary Islands and North Africa as well as intercontinental flights to the United States, the Caribbean and the Middle East, with a total of 118 scheduled year-round and seasonal destinations in 36 countries.
3 – Eurowings
Having just been granted of a great deal of new short-haul routes courtesy of its parent carrier, Lufthansa, the line-up of destinations now offered by the company ranges from the cities of Germany, to Northern England, Scandinavia, Spain, Italy and even Morocco. It operated independently until October 2015, when a merger with its sister company Eurowings was started which has been completed in 2016. Since then, the company continues to operate under the Eurowings brand using Germanwings flight numbers, with a total of 62 aircrafts.
2 – EasyJet
British low-cost carrier EasyJet offers a whole host of celebrated holidaying destinations right across the continent, with popular spots like the Costa del Sol, the Balearic Islands, the Greek Aegean, the Adriatic basin and Turkey’s sun-kissed western coast taking centre stage. The company operates domestic and international scheduled services on over 700 routes in 32 countries, with more than 200 aircrafts. In 2014, EasyJet carried more than 65 million passengers, making it the second-largest airline in Europe by number of passengers carried, behind Ryanair.
1 – RyanAir
The Irish low-cost company has come a long way from its humble beginning as a charter connecting London to the working class Irish city of Waterfort. It operates over 1050 routes, with more than 165 destinations and 300 aircrafts. Ryanair’s route network serves 32 countries in Europe, Africa (Morocco), and the Middle East (Israel). In 2013, the company topped the list of the busiest international airlines, having carried nearly 80 million passengers across borders. On many occasions, Ryanair has expressed its wishes to expand its routes beyond European airports to the United States, Russia and the Middle East. In August 2014, CEO Michael O’Leary foreshadowed the development of a Ryanair Israel, servicing cities across Europe.