How Cheap Airlines Survive

How come cheap airlines are so cheap?

Fastest growing segment of air travel are low fare airlines (LFAs), sometimes called low cost companies (LLC). LFAs now constitute 35% of scheduled intra-EU point to point traffic - and the cheap flights revolution in Europe only started in 1990 by Ryanair. In the USA it was the Southwest Airlines that has led the attack against high flights prices since 1971.

Low cost airline Regular airline

So how cheap are the cheap flights? Aver far (E)

Ryanair Easyjet Aer Lyngus Southwest Lufthansa Air France British Airways

44 65 94 106,60* 235 267 324


Higher seat density - 737-300; 148 seats, single class cabin 128 seats in a regular one

Fast turnarounds (up to 25 min.) - higher utilization of the plane Turanround slowed down by use of major airports with large amount of traffic (approx. 45 min.)

Direct flights - point to point, no transfers, short routes Transfers, long hauls

Smaller airports - cheaper; simple ground facilities. Bigger airports - more expensive.

Tickets sold directly, mostly by Internet (easyJet - 95%). Many tickets sold by travel agencies, incurring extra charges

No Frills - no additional costs. Entertainment programme, quick check in, lounges, paper tickets, business class, catering.

Standardised fleet (only one aircraft type) - cheaper maintenance, training. Various Aircraft.

High variable-proportion of salary (up to 26%), better HR utilisation High basic salaries (variable proportion up to 11%), trade union affiliation

The case of extreme productivity

Passengers per employee :

Easyjet : 6772 British Airways : 735

Ryanair : 9679 Air France\KLM : 715

Where do all those savings, on average, come from?

16% 3% 3% 6% 2% 10% 6% 6% 3% 2% 43%

Higher seat density

Higher aircraft utilization

Lower crew costs

Cheaper airports / landing fees

Single aircraft type

Minimal station costs

No inflight catering

No agents commission

Reduced sales / reservation costs

Smaller administration

Total advantage

How Cheap Airlines Survive

shared by admin on Mar 18, 2011 in Business


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Low-fare airlines or LFAs are the fastest growing segment of air travel. Also called LCCs or low-cost companies, LFAs currently make up 35% of flights scheduled for intra-EU point-to-point destination...
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Category: Business


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