The Impact of Low-Cost Airlines

Expert Talks · 2 min read · Apr 18, 2023
low-cost airlines expert talks

Air travel has come a long way from the days when it was the preserve of the wealthy. In the past, air travel was expensive and only accessible to a select few, and people often traveled by sea, ferry, or coach. However, the evolution of the airline industry and the growth of low-cost carriers have made air travel accessible to the masses. Today, airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet have transformed the industry, making air travel affordable for millions of people worldwide.

Enda Corneille, an Aeroclass instructor, who has worked for both Aer Lingus and Emirates, notes that the growth of low-cost carriers has been the biggest change he has witnessed in the industry. Low-cost carriers have not only made air travel more accessible, but they have also brought commercial aviation to airports and airfields around the world where it was not present before. This growth has been good for local economies and local tourism.

low-cost airline ryanair

However, the low-cost carrier model comes at a cost for the traveler. The quality of service that the passenger enjoys today is only a fraction of what it would have been in the past. Low-cost carriers are successful because they keep their fare prices low and offer fewer services to customers. Enda remembers that in his experience, working for Emirates, the focus was always on providing excellent service and experience to the passengers.

The rise of low-cost carriers has also resulted in a shift in customer expectations. Customers were initially willing to tolerate low service because they felt they were getting what they paid for. However, Enda believes that this is beginning to change, and customers are now demanding more value for their money. Low-cost carriers are also realizing this and are now striving to offer more value to their customers. For example, airlines like Ryanair are bringing out a customer charter to improve service, while EasyJet is distributing their fares in the CRS systems for travel agents, going after the elusive business passenger.

In fact, competition between low-cost carriers and full-service carriers has blurred, and the customer is the winner. Customers can now choose from a variety of options and fares. The low-cost carrier’s unique selling point of low prices has become, as Enda puts it, “a hygiene factor” and carriers must now differentiate themselves by offering other value-added services. For instance, customers are willing to pay a little more to travel with British Airways instead of EasyJet if they are getting something extra.

To hear the full thought on how the low-cost carriers have changed the game of aviation, watch the full Expert Talk video with Enda Corneille.

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Jet pilot @NASA

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