Cheap Airlines: Making Travel Possible for Everyone
These days, people are becoming more and more practical and are more diligent in searching for bargain trips. Many would rather buy tickets from cheap airlines and spend their savings on longer vacations or classier accomodations.
Almost every region in the world has cheap airlines catering to the growing demand for more affordable travel fares. In the U.S., there's Virgin America, owned by the intrepid British businessman Richard Branson. Although this company has suffered a $35 million loss in its first 3 months of operations, it is still intent on providing the cheap airlines alternative for travelers.
Other cheap airlines in the U.S. are jetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines. The former is headquarted in Queens, N.Y. while the latter has its main office in Las Vegas. Among all cheap airlines in the U.S., Southwest is the largest cheap airlines company in the country in terms of the number of passengers carried within the country per year, according to statistics as of year-end 2007.
Aside from also holding the tilte of being the world's largest airline in terms of number of passengers carried, it also ranks 6th in the world in terms of profits. This is an interesting feat and one that cannot be easily achieved by cheap airlines. This means that they must be doing something good in terms of marketing and service.
Cheap airlines normally experience financial trouble during their first few months of operation, but expect to make a comeback during the ensuing months as sales begin to pick up. Southwest Airlines, for example, experienced operating losses during their opening year and the year after that.
Among all cheap airlines in the world, Jetstar, based in Australia, has been named "World's Best Low-Cost Airline" in 2007. Alan Joyce, CEO of this relatively new cheap airlines company, enthuses that his company's win is a remarkable feat, considering that Jetstar is only a little over 3 years in operation.
This fast-rising company gets a lot of help from its mother company, Qantas, though. Despite its cheap airlines image, Jetstar holds the title of being the first Australian airline to give its customers the privilege of choosing their seats upon booking.
The 2nd place winner among all cheap airlines in the world is Air Berlin. In Germany, it is the 2nd largest airline, next only to Lufthansa. It transports people to various vacation destinations such as North Africa, the Canary Islands, and the Mediterranean.
In 2006, this cheap airlines company has transported approximately 19.7 million passengers. This company more closely follows the cheap airlines model utilized in the U.S. rather than in Europe because it still offers assigned seating, newspapers on board, inflight drinks and meals, and a linkage with a frequent flyer program. This is one of the reasons why this cheap airlines company was also given the title "Best Low-Cost Airline in Europe."
Air Berlin's CEO, Joachim Hunold, remarked that this award from Skytrax motivates them to improve their already good service even more.
EasyJet, one of the first companies to operate with a cheap airlines business model, placed third. It is one of Europe's largest cheap airlines companies, flying on 387 routes and touching down on 104 North African and European airports.