The Growth of Low-Cost Airlines: Are They Worth the Savings?

Last updated on July 7, 2024

The term ‘low-cost airlines’ often stirs negative connotations among travellers, inducing visions of delayed flights, bad service, and hidden fees. However, this perception is often misguided and outdated. Firstly, numerous studies have shown that low-cost airlines, like their full-service counterparts, take safety extremely seriously. They are regulated by the same international safety bodies and therefore held to the same stringent standards. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, many low-cost airlines have statistically been found to be as punctual, if not even more reliable, than traditional airlines. For instance, Ryanair was rated as Europe’s most punctual major airline in September 2020.

Profits of Low-Cost airlines

Low-cost airlines have remarkably transformed from negligible players to major participants in the aviation industry. They have delivered consistent profits in the last decade mainly due to their successful operational models. A key strength of most low-cost airlines is their concentration on short-haul routes, where they compete effectively against cars, buses, and trains. Southwest Airlines in the U.S, Ryanair in Europe, and AirAsia in Asia are classic examples of companies that have posted substantial profits despite the misconception of low fares translating to low profits. Money-saving tactics used by these airlines include fast ground turn-around times, point-to-point transit, and charging for so-called ‘extras’ like priority boarding and in-flight meals.

How Low-Cost Airlines Make Money

Low-cost airlines have unique strategies that ensure profitability. They base their business model on high aircraft utilisation, meaning planes spend less time on the ground and more time in the air. Efficient use of staff time and aircraft helps cut costs drastically. Secondly, most low-cost airlines use single-type fleets, like Southwest’s Boeing 737s, resulting in significant savings in maintenance and staff training. The introduction of ancillary revenue, where passengers are charged for additional services like extra legroom, pre-selected seating or onboard food and drinks, also contributes greatly to the profits.


In conclusion, low-cost airlines have tailored their business models to be efficient, profitable, and safe. They have debunked the misconceptions surrounding them, proving they are worth the savings for passengers without significantly compromising on service or punctuality. Substantial profits have been realised by these airlines through strategies like higher aircraft utilisation, single-type fleets and additional service charges. These methods have not only sustained their businesses but have even led to considerable growth and market expansion. Therefore, passengers can confidently opt for these airlines, secure in the knowledge that they are saving without necessarily compromising on quality or safety.

Flight compensation is the financial reimbursement that you may be eligible to receive from the airline if your flight is delayed, cancelled, or you’re denied boarding. We’ve handpicked the Top 5 flight claim companies to assist you in securing the compensation you deserve. Select one now and take the first step towards your claim.