Discount airlines in Europe From Wikitravel
is one of the WikiTravel Travel
topics Europe has a number of low cost airlines,
the largest and most established being EasyJet (http://www.easyjet.com),
These airlines have stirred up air travel within
Europe by dramatically cutting fares. The European
Open-Skies Treaty of 1992 blew the lid
off the system in place before, where national
government would restrict access to their airspace
to expensive 'flag-carriers', such as British
or Lufthansa (http://www.lufthansa.com).
This enabled airlines to fly anywhere they wished
in the European Union without government approval.
The de-regulation of Europe's skies enabled
a European airline run like Southwest to become
a reality. Ryanair was the first airline in
Europe to try this model, and now have many
imitators offering low fares across the continent.
These are boom times for low-cost air travel
in Europe, and with fares on some routes as
low as €10 (£7, US$12) one-way including
tax, millions are discovering the joy of
travelling across Europe cheaply and quickly.
EasyJet fares are priced as single segment one
way trips. If you wish to change planes in a
hub then you must book the two segments separately
(meaning also that you collect your luggage
and check in again at the hub). You can book
a return at the same time as the outbound but
you get no discount for doing so. EasyJet has
hubs in 3 London airports (Gatwick, Stansted,
Luton) as well as Paris (CDG and Orly), Berlin,
Dortmund, Liverpool, Bristol and various other
UK airports. As well as these hubs they serve
45 other airports throughout Europe, with 180
routes. EasyJet operate an ever-expanding network,
keep your eyes peeled to their site. They have
an extensive UK domestic network, and operate
to and between large European airports. Unlike
Ryanair, easyJet tend to operate out of principal
airports, such as Barcelona and not Barcelona
Girona, in Spain.
board at Cologne/Bonn airport
Ryanair fares are priced as single segment
one way trips. If you wish to change planes
in a hub then you must book the two segments
separately. You can book a return at the same
time as the outbound but you get no discount
for doing so. Ryanair operate a huge
network in Europe, and are generally (but
not always) the cheapest airline on the routes
where they compete with another airline. They
have hubs in Shannon, Dublin, Glasgow (Prestwick),
Liverpool, London, Brussels (Charleroi), Frankfurt
(Hahn), Stockholm (Skavsta), Milan Bergamo,
Rome and Barcelona. They serve 82 other European
destinations, with 209 routes. Ryanair is
infamous for flying to secondary airports
that may be hundreds of kilometers away from
the city they purport to serve, so check carefully
and factor this into your travel time and
Other low cost airlinesThere are 62 low cost
airlines in Europe, and this number is rapidly
changing. Here are a few of the biggest.
Low cost airline resourcesThere are some very
useful websites to use when booking connecting
low cost airline flights. One is Openjet (http://www.openjet.com/).
This site will find the cheapest way of getting
between the 91 cities served by Easyjet, MytravelLite,
BMIbaby, Volareweb, Basiq Air, HLX and Germanwings.
Another is Low
Fare Flights (http://www.lowfareflights.co.uk/),
this UK site compares budget airfares on over
300 european routes, originating from the UK
only. Applefares (http://www.applefares.com/)
covers European-based routes: you can give it
a range of airports or even countries, and find
the cheapest flight to any destination on a
range of dates. It searches the airlines that
Openjet uses, plus Air 2000, BMI, Duo, Sky Europe,
Sterling, V Bird and Virgin Express. Skyscanner (http://www.skyscanner.net)
offers a similar service with additional tools,
such as fare graphs for a given route over a
month and cheap weekend flights from any given
city. Unfortunately Ryanair actively keeps its
fares off any of these fare comparison websites,
forcing users to go directly to ryanair.com.
The most recent website in this category is
which cleverly composes multileg journeys based
on low-cost airlines. Also of use are two information
sites: lowcostairlines.org (http://www.lowcostairlines.org/)
which lists all 61 European low cost airlines
(plus many other low cost airlines all over
the world) and attitudetravel.com (http://www.attitudetravel.com/lowcostairlines/europe/)
which has country-by-country maps and information
detailing all the low cost airline routes to
and from each European destination. cheap0.com (http://www.cheap0.com)
is another good resource, and has up-to-date
low-cost airline route news.
operate a very large network from numerous
German and Austrian airports, and London.
They book through tickets.
operate an expanding network to/from Bucharest,
Romania (to Germany, Spain, Italy, Turkey,
a subsidiary of bmi, have bases in Teeside,
Cardiff, Manchester and Nottingham East
Midlands. They operate domestic flights
to Scotland and Northern Ireland, and also
have a small number of flights out of Gatwick.
- Centralwings (http://www.centralwings.com/)
operates out of Poland (Warsaw, Krakow,
Katowice) to several European destinations.
- Condor (http://www.condor.com)
operates out of major airports in Germany
(doesn't use obscure airfields) and sells
tickets starting at 29,00 Euros one-way
within Europe, putting it into the discount
airline bracket as well.
- FlyBe (http://www.flybe.com/)
operates out of the UK to many European
- Monarch (http://www.flymonarch.com/)
operates out of several UK cities
operate a large network out of Cologne-Bonn
operate a large network out of Stuttgart,
Cologne/Bonn, Hanover, Hamburg and Berlin.
operates out of London Stansted and Copenhagen
- jet2 (http://www.jet2.com/cgi-bin/jet2/I6/home)
operate out of Leeds/Bradford to continental
Europe, and from Belfast to Prague.
operates a Turkish domestic network.
operate out of Bratislava and Budapest.
- Smartwings (http://www.smartwings.net/en)
operates out of Prague.
- Sterling (http://www.sterlingticket.com/)
operate from Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo
- Transavia (http://www.transavia.com/)
(former BasiqAir), Operates out of Amsterdam
to many European destinations.
operate out of Brussels.
- Wizzair (http://www.wizzair.com/)
operates from Poland and Hungary