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LIST: BUDGET AIRLINES

These are low-cost airline websites and reservations numbers for UK travellers.

When is an airline not an airline? Sometimes operators using chartered aircraft promote themselves as if they are a no-frills airline. For me, an 'airline' is only an airline if it has its name painted on the fuselage. Even then it may not techically be an airline (with an operating licence) but it's good enough for this list!
AirAsia X   Low-cost long-haul carrier to destinations in China, Australia, Taipei, India, and Korea. Affiliated to regional low-cost airline, Air Asia.
Air Berlin 0870 738 88 80 Europe's third largest low-cost-carrier. In the UK, Air Berlin operates out of Stansted to 12 cities in Spain, six in Germany as well as to Budapest, Milan, Vienna and Zurich. It offers low-cost prices but complimentary service includes seat reservation at check-in as well as a snack, drinks and a newspaper available on the flight.
AtlasJet 00 90216 444 3387 Low-cost Turkish airline flying to Istanbul from Stansted.
easyJet 0870 6000 000 The original UK low-cost airline
Eurowings n/a Lufthansa's lost cost brand for short & long haul flights that has also taken over the sister company, Germanwings. Eurowings flies from 9 UK airports.
Flybe 0870 567 6676 Pound sign Few remember this, but it was once called Jersey European Airways (JEA), then British European (BE), now re-invented as a regional low-cost carrier.
Helvetic 020 7026 3464 Swiss budget airline flying from Luton to Zurich, where it connects to a network serving 18 European destinations.
Jet2 0871 226 1737 Low cost airline operating to 16 European destinations from Leeds Bradford, 16 from Manchester, five from Belfast International and two from Newcastle.
Meridiana 020 7839 2222 Italian airline flying from London to Florence, and Olbia on Sardinia
NIKI n/a Austrian low-cost airline set up in 2003 by Niki Lauda having sold his previous airline to Austrian Airlines. NIKI is a partner of Air Berlin and operates flights to the UK (Stansted-Vienna) under AB flight numbers.
Norwegian.no n/a Norwegian is Europe's third largest low-cost airline, operating from London Gatwick, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester Airports to 29 destinations in Europe and 5 in the USA.
Ryanair 0871 246 0000 One of the two big players in the UK/Eire low-cost airline business
SmartWings +420 255 700 827 Low-cost Czech airline flying from Gatwick to Prague.
Thomson Airways 0870 1900 737 Thompson Holidays' no-frills airline, ThomsonFly launched in spring 2004 and more recently merged with First Choice Airways, now rebranded Thomson Airways. Its planes fly to destinations round the world from 23 UK airports.
TUIfly.com n/a Sister airline to Thomson Airways, in that they have the same parent - TUI. TUIfly.com is one of Germany’s biggest low cost carriersand flies from airports such as Edinburgh, Manchester, and Newcastle to a variety of popular European destinations.
Vueling 0906 754 754 1 Spanish low-cost airline flying a fleet of 59 Airbus aircraft into 74 airports throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. It operates nine routes from four UK airports: London Heathrow to Bilbao, Galicia, La Coruna and Vigo; Cardiff to Barcelona, Palma and Alicante and from Southampton and Edinburgh to Barcelona. 40% of its passengers are business travellers.
Wizz Air 00 48 22 500 9499 Polish low-cost airline launched May 2004 with services from Katowice in southern Poland near Krakow to Berlin, Rome, Milan and London Luton. They plan to add Gdansk in northern Poland and Budapest Ferihegy airport in Hungary on 24 June.
Wow Air n/a Launched in November 2011, WOW air (formerly Iceland Express) connects twenty destinations across North America and Europe (in our case, Gatwick) via Reykjavik.

Notes

  • I like the Low Cost Airline Guide. It's a simple-to-use route search tool for the budget airlines operating in Europe. Click on the airlines listed in the results to go straight to their websites.
  • WhichBudget.com is a useful directory of low-cost flights.

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