Apr 13

RyanAir - no-frills goes long-haul Airline?For a couple of years now so-called no-frills Airlines are mushrooming around the planet. Starting with the mother of budget airlines – Southwest – in the US. In Europe there was a tough fight of competition with the likes of RyanAir, Aer Lingus, Easyjet, GO and others for the last few years.

Low-cost, no-frills carriers mushrooming around the globe

With no-frills airlines you (don’t) basically get, what you (don’t) pay for. For food, drink, excess baggage, safety belt and parachutes you have to pay extra, usually with an arm and a leg. Seats as well. The short time on a flight you can sure be standing. Just kidding of course – but you know why they call them no-frills airlines. It’s basically just the seat and for the rest you pay extra – or not – if you think you don’t need it. The cheapest flights are usually for the first one or two dozend passenger, the rest pays more (although still less than with full-service carriers). Inflight entertainment is non-existent as well, or mainly done by the flight attendants throwing some funny – often silly – games.

In Asia you have Air Asia, Tiger Airways, JetStar (which took over rival ValueAir), Adam Air, Lion Air, One-Two-Go, Virgin Blue, Cebu Pacific and many others.

Mainly those airlines concentrate their routes around a home hub with a maximum flight time of 2-3 hours to reach their destination, aka Stansted for RyanAir, Singapore for Tiger and JetStar Asia, Kuala Lumpur for Air Asia Malaysia.

More and more competition

Pilot strike at Air Sahara officeWith more and more of those airlines popping up, competition gets harder and stiffer. Now some of them are thinking aloud to expanding their business model to long-haul flights, meaning flying from continent to continent for a budget price.

Indian airline Air Sahara already flying from Heathrow to New Delhi starting for an incredibly irresistible 129 Pounds plus Taxes.

Air Asia’s Tony Fernandes was talking about long haul flights from Asia to Europe since quite a while now – even though the actual start of it’s subsidiary ‘AirAsiaX’ (for extended range) was delayed again, last time in January this year. A possible start now will be by the end of 2007, with flights from Kuala Lumpur to Britain starting from just 9,99 ringgit!

JetStar was expressing interest in flying long-haul to North America or Europe from Asia. RyanAir wants to fly to North America (New York) from Europe. Virgin Blue is thinking about Sydney or Brisbane to Hong Kong routes and others.

No-frills an option for long-haul?

So what do you think? Can that work? Will budget airlines set a new standard for long-haul travel or will we soon call them even more often names like ‘LyingAir’, SleazyJet, ‘Air Anxiety’, ‘Never-come-back Airline’ or ‘FareWeather Airlines’?

Would you fly more than 2-3 hours with a low-low-low-cost carrier with cramped leg room, no inflight entertainment, extra payable food, drinks, blankets, headphones and less than a golf bag as luggage?

Would you trust them enough to go the extra mile and fly with them from continent to continent, especially after the recent flight disasters in Asia for instance?

Or would you shy away from Budget Airlines for intercontinental flights and go for the established full-deal, full service (country) carriers, even though they might be 2-3 times for expensive?

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written by Chris

20 Responses to “Would you fly a Budget Carrier long-haul?”

  1. MaxNo Gravatar THAILAND Says:

    Oasis Air run the Hong Kong-Gatwick (London) route as a budget carrier. They claim GBP£75 economy and GBP£400 business o/w. When I tried to get a quote at the end of last year the economy ticket worked out more than the flight I took with Singapore Air but with pay as you go everything.
    As for RyanAir, I’d rather walk than use their services.

  2. Maryam in MarrakeshNo Gravatar not found Says:

    I am all for budget airliners! I am hoping that this will encourage more people to travel, learn about new cultures, become more tolerant and help us to be more of a global community!

  3. MaxNo Gravatar THAILAND Says:

    Trouble is it encourages people to hop on a plane and go for a weekend shopping or dancing in another country, or fly internally when a train would be a more environmentally sound option. It’s no wonder the world is running dry of fuel. I think flight is a necessary and unavoidable part of our lives now, but surely we need to be responsible about it and consider alternatives when they are available.
    Oh dear, this won’t be a popular post!

  4. tutubiNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    i’m actually waiting for budget airlines to europe so I can visit that continent

    never been out of Asia and it’s a good thing budget airlines like AirAsia and Tiger are now enticing my itchy feet to travel somewhere

  5. kimbaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Actually, in the 80s there was a budget carrier from the US East Coast to London – People’s Express. I loved it. I took my first flight to Europe on it from NYC. I would love to be able to fly to more places around the planet from the US. I always envy the Europeans and their access to inexpensive flights, but I also love train travel in Europe too.

  6. kimbaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    >> I would love to be able to fly to more places around the planet from the US.

    I meant less expensively.

  7. FreedomSeekerNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    I have to say – I am in conflict over this.

    On the one hand: I find long haul flights amazingly uncomfortable anyway – and tend to take some sleeping tablets to knock me out until I get there. So I don’t think it would make much difference to go without the comfort. Given that – I would welcome anything that meant I could nip around the world much more cheaply.

    On the other hand: With flying being one of the most polluting actvities you can embark on we are already doing too much of it. Budget flights are becoming more and more readily available around the World – particularly in India and China I believe. The impact on the environment looks scarey anyway, without adding long haul budget flights to the agenda.

    This is a subject I feel quite passionate about – and I could go on and on…. but I’ll close here…


  8. Working NomadNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    I managed to get a fare from HK to London for £100 incl all taxes! It’s cheaper than taking a train in England!

  9. billypilgrimNo Gravatar IRELAND Says:

    Your only critisism of budget airlines is the lack of “frills”

    If you want frills, pay for them on another airline. If you don’t want frills, use a budget carrier.

    Just because you like your little packets of peanuts it doesn’t mean you have to hate budget airlines. I’ve flown with ryanair a lot and have NEVER had an issue with them.

    On the other hand I have flown with American Airlines four times. On one occasion I was left in Boston for six hours waiting for a replacement plane, and on another occasion I was almost left stranded in Lima because they had overbooked and sold my seat twice.

    All airlines screw up sometimes, it just looks like budget airlines screw up more because of the huge volumes of people that use them.

  10. Things happen for a reason in Indonesia | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] billypilgrim: Your only critisism of budget airlines is the lack of “frills” If you want frills, pay for… […]

  11. No-Frills Flights are taking off for Long-Haul Routes! | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] Awhile ago we were discussing, if it’s a wise or safe decision to fly a Budget Carrier long-haul. However your opinion is about that subject – luckily time didn’t stop and some of the usual suspects seem to follow through with the idea. […]

  12. Vic46No Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    I have flown budget on AAsia and JetstarAsia and have had no probelms to date. AA has been impressive 97% on time and the food on board is basic and don’t cost and arm and a leg. Their stewardesses sure are eye candy but do their jobs. JetstarAsia has a delightul range of gadgets on the onflght

  13. Cloudless Sky ahead for Lion Air? | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] Thailand, Hong Kong, Australia, Bangladesh and other locations in Malaysia. Will they even go for long-haul routes as […]

  14. John StivesNo Gravatar NEW ZEALAND Says:

    People have to start thinking about the environmental issues of no frills airways!

  15. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    John Stives – I really hope that Richard Branson gets this Biofuel Kerosene working well and others will follow suit soon after. That could do the trick already, wouldn’t it?

  16. TomNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    damn oasis Hong Kong airlines (which actually took £400 from me) decided to CEASE OPERATIONS about a week before I left … meaning I had to spend an extra £600 (which i didn’t really have) …

    Cebu Pacific has screwed me too … of course, so has their rivals PAL …. my decision? Qantas, Qatar are excellent coming from UK to Hong Kong … and Cathay Pacific are excellent to go around in Asia!

    It cost’s more, but you know you’ll get where you want to go … in one piece :D

  17. TomNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    How can I get the little UK flag by my name on these comments?

  18. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Tom, it comes automatic from a plugin called IP2country I use on this site. It depends on the ISP you use though, or from where you log in. So it’s sometimes not completely accurate. If it doesn’t show, it simply can’t determine your location.

  19. TomNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    ah ok …. hmmmm – sounds too technical for me to understand lol!

    well, I’m from the UK now, and from November I will be “from” the Philippines :D

  20. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Uh oh Tom, didn’t want to scare you with any blog tech. It’s just that my site can’t figure out, from where you login to the internet. It’s an automatic thing and probably it will show the Philippines from November onwards or the UK, if you’d use a different internet provider today. Don’t worry too much about it – it’s simply garnish. ;-)

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