Travelling on flights was initially considered a luxury and a mode of travel only for the rich. There was a time when airfare used to be sky-high and the average middle class did not even try to go for it. However, with the rapid rise of budget airlines, which offer an option of flight ticket booking at nominal rates. These low-cost carriers (LCCs) have made progress and have almost overtaken its full-priced counterparts with budget travel. Such has been their impact that the price of tickets has emerged as one of the determining factors while booking.
A Bright Future for LCCs
According to the Centre for Aviation, the year 2014 is slated to witness a further boost these budget airlines. Approximately, the number of aircraft operated by LCCs currently is nearly 1000 in the Asia-Pacific region solely. Apart from this, over 1500 models are already up on orders with various manufacturers by these budget carriers. This information throws light upon the fact that these carriers will dominate the aviation in the next few years as well. Furthermore, ten LCCs are planning to launch a start-up in the year in this region only. The increasing competition is also another reason, which has boosted their global surge.
Offering at Par Services
Contrary to the public opinion, travelling on a full-fledged carrier and a LCC does not have vast differences when the facilities and services are taken into account. There was a time when carriers offered free baggage, complimentary meals and in-flight entertainment for no separate charges. However, with inflation most carriers have done away with some or all these free services. On the other hand, low-cost airlines keep some of these facilities and offer a lower ticket price. Obviously, these would attract more travellers who are always on the lookout for cheapest air tickets.
Having Single Aircraft Type
The major question still lies as how these LCCs manage to keep a nominal price in this era when the word cheap is almost out of the market. Some factors have contributed to their advantage like choice of aircraft and operating zone. Most of these airlines maintain a fleet of aircraft of the same type, which primarily has two advantages. Pilots and other cabin crew can be trained according to one system only that of the existing fleet. This reduces training charges by a significant margin. Apart from this, maintenance related issues can be dealt in a unanimous way, which is not possible if the airline has aircraft of different types.
Smaller Operating Region
Choosing an operating region wisely also contributes towards lowering of operating charges of airlines. Most LCCs offer services in a region, which has a number of important business and leisure destinations. This reduces expenditures due to jet fuel consumption by a significant margin. Operating within a smaller region also lowers the cost of flying of the airline as they have to serve airports at fewer nations, thus reducing airport charges. As a result of these factors, the entire low-cost model has been a success right since its initiation in the aviation industry.