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The leading budget airlines in the world

Last updated on: July 12, 2011 08:46 IST

The leading budget airlines in the world

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You get, what you see -- this is the mantra for low-cost carriers (LCCs) or budget airlines. These airlines generally offer low fares in exchange for eliminating many services to passengers.

For the price you pay, forgoing these services may not be a bad idea in most cases.

If numbers are to be believed, then passengers don't seem to be complaining. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents the majority of airlines operating in the $598 billion industry, the demand for LCCs is expected to rise 4.4 percent over the next year with the Asia-Pacific region growing faster at 6.4 per cent.

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Photographs: Tim Wimborne/Reuters
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In India, the concept of budget airlines was introduced by Deccan Airways (now, Kingfisher Red). This was soon followed by other airlines like SpiceJet, Goair,  IndiGo, JetLite, Jet Konnect, Kingfisher Red.

Their popularity has prompted IndiGo to launch flights on the international route - Delhi to Dubai, Bangkok and Singapore this September and Mumbai will be connected to Bangkok and Dubai from October. Other Indian LCCs to fly overseas are Air India Express and JetLite.

Globally, LCCs have long been operating on the internationally route. Read on further to know more about world's leading budget airlines.

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The leading budget airlines in the world

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AirAsia
Group CEO: Dato' Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Berhad

AirAsia is a Malaysian-based low-cost airline, and is considered to be a pioneer of low-cost travel in Asia.

Operating since 2001, AirAsia has spans through over 400 destinations covering more than 20 countries.

Recently, AirAsia has ordered 200 revamped A320neo jets plus 100 options from Airbus. This US $17-billion deal makes the airline Airbus's largest customer.

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Image: Air Asia CEO Tony Fernandes answers a question during a news conference
Photographs: Daniel Munoz/Reuters
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The leading budget airlines in the world

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Jetstar Airways
CEO: Bruce Buchanan is a founding executive of Jetstar

Jetstar Airways is an Australian low-cost airline, headquartered in Melbourne.

The airline was established by Qantas in 2003. It operates through domestic network as well as regional and international services from its base at Melbourne.

At present, the Jetstar group of Airlines spans through14 countries, serving in excess of 55 markets across Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region.

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Photographs: Mick Tsikas/Reuters
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Air Arabia
Chairman: Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al Thani

Started in October 2003, Air Arabia is the first low-cost airline in the Middle East.

It operates in 22 countries and 46 destinations in the Middle East, North Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia and Europe.

Air Arabia operates one aircraft type, the Airbus A320. At present, Air Arabia fleet consist of 27 new Airbus A320 aircraft. The company has an existing order with for 44 Airbus A320 aircraft.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Air Arabia
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Ryan Air
CEO: Michael O'Leary

Ryan Air is an Irish low-cost airline with its head office at Dublin. Set up in 1985, Ryanair today operates more than 1,400 flights per day across 27 countries, connecting 160 destinations.

Ryanair operates a fleet of 250 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft with firm orders for a further 64 new aircraft (before taking account of planned disposals), which will be delivered over the next 2 years.

Ryanair currently has a team of more than 8,000 people.

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Image: Michael O'Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, at a press conference
Photographs: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters
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Air Berlin
Chief Executive Officer: Joachim Hunold

Air Berlin is a German low cost airline based in Berlin. Air Berlin was established in 1978 and today it is the second largest airline in Germany.

It provides both domestic and international flights to various destinations in Europe, Asia, Caribbean and North America.

In 2010 its fleet included 148 aircraft and it carried 27.9 million passengers in 2009.

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Photographs: Michaela Rehle/Reuters
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JetBlue
Founder: David Neeleman

JetBlue Airways is an American low-cost airline. In 2001, JetBlue began a focus city operation at Long Beach Airport in Long Beach, California, and another at Boston's Logan International Airport, in 2004.

Now, JetBlue serves 63 destinations in 21 states (including Puerto Rico), and eleven countries in the Caribbean, South America and Latin America.

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Photographs: Reuters
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Air India Express
Chairman: Arvind Jadhav

Air India Express is a low-cost airline subsidiary of Air India, operating mainly from Kerala. It operates services largely to the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

The airline was established in May 2004. At present, its fleet consists of 21 B737-800 aircraft.

What makes this airline unique is that it offers on-board services like free standardised meals and limited on-board entertainment facilities.



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