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Low Cost Airlines

A list of low cost airlines, mostly based in Europe, covering European countries and a few international destinations.
  • European carriers that can be considered low cost (or budget) include mainly charter or 'no frills' airlines. 
    Low cost airlines can afford to be competitive price - wise to the customer, because they are paying for less expensive arrival destinations (TIP: Do not forget to factor in the cost of transferring from the perhaps less direct airport to your chosen destination and weigh in the time it takes to do so. Check also about the handling of the luggage and any connections you might have to make.)  
  • Before undertaking a trip with a budget airline with connections involved, you should be careful of the leaving enough time for connections. If you have kids and the low cost airlines insist on a stop, try to break the trip there. 
  • Do not forget to check also scheduled airlines, especially in and around Europe, where at times they are often just as competitive in price when flying on highly competitive, short haul routes. You may also be in a position to take advantage of any frequent flyer schemes that you are part of.
  • The list below shows mostly European low cost carriers and some international ones.
    The list is not exhaustive and we would be pleased to hear from you regarding others that you may have used. There is certainly no hard and fast rule here that makes any carrier stand out in terms of service or price - you still have to do selective searches and comparisons wherever you are travelling.
    The one advantage is that you have endless possibilities to get from your departure point to arrival point. There are many "search low cost" internet options for the companies included and you may save a few pounds or Euros, but it is often as economical going directly to the source. For a very light hearted look at some of the budget travel industry network, take a look at
    attitude travel (a comprehensive, but also clogged with ads, list of budget airlines around the world)
    or to compare prices try out
  • for airline ratings check

Interesting sites for finding good deals

  • website:  
    The new web site is owned by Aer Lingus, Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, KLM, and Lufthansa.
  • website:  
    A website to compare--in real time--fares from 180 traditional and low cost airlines as well as charter airlines and online travel agencies to 230 destinations in 40 countries.
  • website: 
    The site offers a comparison of prices between different airlines serving the european market

If you are in the United States

Airlines low-cost


  • Aero Lloyd
    Flies out from many cities in Germany (also Vienna and Salzburg) flies out of Europe, but often during holiday seasons.
    Tel: 49 6171 625 200
  • AirDolomiti
    More than 300 destinations in Europe and worldwide owing to its link with the Lufthansa network via Munich and Frankfurt. European destinations are Munich, Frankfurt, Wien, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Brussels, Berlin. In Italy flies from Ancona, Bari, Bologna, Cagliari, Genova, Milano Orio al Serio, Milano Linate, Napoli, Pisa, Trieste, Venezia, Verona. During the summer time there are also flights to Sardinia.
  • Air Europa
    Flies from Madrid to Caracas, Cuba, New York, all around Spain, and to London, Milan, Paris and Rome.
    Tel: + 34 902 401 501
  • Air Scotland
    Palma, Barcelona, Alicante, Tenerife and Malaga are just the beginning for this expanding airline which is based obviously in Scotland, however appears to be operated by Greece airways. Watch their site for new destinations from Glasgow, Edinburgh Aberdeen and further a field, from Newcastle.
  • Air Transat
    Specialize in charter flights from several Canadian and European cities to vacation destinations, mainly in the south during the winter months and in Europe during the summer. Site in english and french.
  • Azzurra Air
    Italian private airline operating scheduled flights and charter flights to Spain, Greece, Holland, Egypt, Portugal and other Mediterranean destinations from and to Italy.
  • Basiq Air
    Flies from The Netherlands to Barcelona, Bordeaux, Madrid, Malaga, Marseilles, Nice.
    Tel: + 31 20 406 0 406
  • BMI Baby
    Generally a very economical option is 'bmibaby airline'. They service twenty two destinations. Although the bookings are very quick and you can book actual seat places on the web, the site is not hugely comprehensive in advising you about on board supplements!
  • Easyjet
    Very competitive airline, especially the earlier you book. Based in the United Kingdom, EasyJet flys 114 routes between 38 major European airports. You will find both leisure and business destinations available.
  • Flybe
    Departures and arrivals covering 37 destinations, this is a European hopper with good value options available and easy to use site.
  • Fly Snowflake
    Fly Snowflake is a part of the SAS network, flying to some 21 destinations from Stockholm, offering a no-frills service, more often arriving at central city airports. One way flights are available.
    Uncluttered and easy to use website.
  • Germania
    Within Germany it has very good prices and also flies to certain places like for example Palma de Mallorca, Lisbon and more.
    Tel: + 49 89 975 92350

  • Hapag-Lloyd Express
    Hapag-Lloyd Express another TUI operation, the world's largest travel and tourism business. TUI has a long history of quality services around Europe and provides great flights at bargain prices from Manchester, Luton, Hanover to European destinations.
  • MyTravellite
    Part of the Mytravel group, this free-seating airline has 13 destinations to date, mainly in Spain, operating out of the United Kingdom. This is yet another rapidly expanding network.
  • Ryanair
    Ryanair with one of Europes largest fleets is exceedingly competitive with 127 routes covering 16 countries, an easy to use website and when they are feeling generous, flights can be as low as 1.69 pounds (airport taxes not included)!
  • Thomson Thomson flights cover some 50 airports worldwide with services as far a field from Europe as Barbados and Florida, as well as Greece and an extensive European network.
    These flights are operated by Britannia and traded under TUI and advertise as 'low cost' rather than no frills, allowing you the benefits of meals, extra leg room (at a price) etc. Their website is pretty thorough so you should be able to understand the extent of service.
  • Spanair
    Flies within Spain and the Canary Islands, with flights to other major European cities.
    Tel: + 888 545 5757
  • Sterling
    Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo are the bases for a network reaching 22 destinations run on a charter basis. Scandinavian.
  • Virgin Express
    Flies from Brussels to cities in Spain, Italy, and Scandinavia, also to Faro, London, Nice, Geneva, and Zurich.

    Tel: + 32 2 752 0505
  • Volare web
    After suspending flights the 19 november 2004, Volare web is  back, but covers mainly national destinations in Italy (site in english and italian).
    Tel: 199 414 500 ( if you are caliing from an italian phone number; Euro 0,06 per minute; calling from a mobile phone costs are different based on the phone company fees).
    Tel: +39 070 4603397 for international calls
  • Wizz Air
    Flights from the UK and Ireland: Poland, Hungary, Romania, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Latvia, Serbia, Ukraine, Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia.

    Tel:  UK 0907 292 0102 (Calls cost 92 pence per minute plus network extras. Calls from mobiles may be charged at a higher rate.)
    Eire (Ireland) 1550 475 970  (calls charged at EUR 0.95 per minute. Calls from mobile networks may be charged at a higher rate.)
    For other countries  phone rate:

  • Zoom Airlines
    Offer scheduled and charter transatlantic service from Canada  (Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa Montreal and Halifax) to Glasgow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Cardiff and Belfast in the UK and flights from Toronto and Montreal to Paris, France. All Zoom airfares are one-way.  Site in english and french.

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