The Best Low-Cost Carriers in the World?

list of fifteen airlines known to be friendly to your budget — at least, before paying any ancillary fees — were chosen by Travel+Leisure; and if you are expecting Ryanair or EasyJet to be amongst those airlines, you will be disappointed.

The list of airlines is as follows, with a link to content from the article by Travel+Leisure as well as some brief commentary by me:

  1. WestJet With the recent changes pertaining to Altitude announced from Air Canada — considered by many frequent fliers to be a major devaluation — will WestJet take advantage of what FlyerTalk member The Lev considers to be an opportunity?
  2. Norwegian Air Shuttle caused a great deal of controversy one year ago when it was considered a threat to the commercial aviation industry in the United States by members of the Air Line Pilots Association, International after an announcement was released of the intention of launching service between London and New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale for a significantly lower airfare than the competition
  3. Peach One of the two airlines included in this list which is curiously named after fruit — this one based in Japan
  4. FastJet Although this airline is headquartered in England, it has a head office in Tanzania, which is also the home of its main hub, as it currently serves eight airports in Africa but is expected to significantly expand its operations throughout Africa in the future
  5. IndiGo Not to be confused with the private equity and venture capital firm which purchased Frontier Airlines last year; or the hotel brand of InterContinental Hotels — but then again, I am sure you do not confuse the Canadian lodging chain of Delta Hotels and Resorts with Delta Air Lines, which is based in the United States
  6. VivaAerobus The only low-cost airline in Mexico with hub airports in Monterrey, Guadalajara, Mexico City and Cancún; and it also serves Houston and El Paso in the United States
  7. Jetstar This airline is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qantas Airways; and you were able to redeem 20 percent fewer Qantas Frequent Flyer points for flights on this airline as of April of 2013
  8. WOW Air I am certain you have heard plenty about this airline lately as the news spread quickly about airfares as low as $99.00 each way — including all taxes and fees — for service between either Boston or Washington, D.C. and London, Copenhagen and Reykjavik in 2015; but I stated my reasons why I do not plan on taking advantage of those low airfares
  9. Vueling Earn frequent flier loyalty program miles and elite level points on code-share flights with Iberia and — as of 2014 — British Airways
  10. Transavia The only article covering this airline here at The Gate was when back in September of 2012, a pilot was locked out of the cockpit while the first officer slept during a flight from Greece to the Netherlands — but that isolated incident does not mean that this airline is not safe on which to fly as a passenger — and as a member of Flying Blue, it is one of the few low-cost carriers affiliated with a frequent flier loyalty program
  11. Mango The other airline entry named after a fruit — this one based in South Africa
  12. AirAsia I have been a passenger on two flights operated by this airline and found AirAsia to be a viable transportation option to consider, as the airplanes were clean; the flights were on time; I did not have to pay any ancillary fees in addition to the airfare; and the service seemed to be good — almost identical to my experience as a passenger on a flight operated by Tiger Airways
  13. Germanwings The only times The Gate has ever reported on this airline was when strikes loomed at Lufthansa in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010 and again in 2010 — although the airline did get a mention here as its managing director and chief operating officer is expected to participate in the Kamingespräch event for 2014 on October 30
  14. Tiger Air It has been greater than five years since I flew as a passenger on what was then known as Tiger Airways from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur; and I do not recall the fees being that bad, as I had paid none in addition to the airfare of 90 Singapore Dollars — and by the way, did you hear about the remaining shares of Tigerair Australia being purchased by Virgin Australia Group for one Australian dollar?
  15. Gol All I can say is that someone had a lot of Gol to launch one of the few budget airlines in South America, as I have no experience regarding this airline


Do you agree with this list? Are there any low-cost carriers or no-frills airlines which you believe should be added to — or removed from — this list?

One thought on “The Best Low-Cost Carriers in the World?”

  1. Joey says:

    Of the airlines listed, I’ve only flown Air Asia, Vueling, Norwegian, and Indigo. I agree with you that AirAsia overall is a great option to travel. Everything is clear in terms of price and the planes were clean. I thought they would have scored higher on the list.
    Of the 4 I’ve flown, the only airline I was disappointed with was Vueling. There was simply not enough legroom for me and I definitely felt claustrophobic when I flew it from Seville to Barcelona (yes only a 1.5 hour flight but still!)
    One airline I think that should be added is Cebu Pacific. It’s a low cost carrier in the Philippines with a few international destinations but every single time I’ve flown it, I had a similar experience to Air Asia — except the cabin crew was friendlier and provided better service, imho.

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