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Top 17 World’s Best Low-Cost Airlines 2017

World's Best Low-Cost Airlines

Impressively, AirAsia is the world’s best low-cost airline for the 9th year running. Based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the airline operates an extensive network covering more than 120 destinations in 26 countries across Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the Middle East and the USA. Just 15 years ago, the airline was a failing state-owned business but was rapidly turned around by CEO Tony Fernandes.

Also voted best long-haul low-cost airline and best low-cost airline in Europe, Norwegian Air comes in second on this list. The company flies to more than 100 destinations throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the USA – making headlines earlier this year when it offered one-way flights between Dublin and New York for just $90 (£69). Its planes are instantly recognizable as they each have a red nose and portraits of famous Scandinavians on their tail fins.

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“You above all” is the reassuring slogan of JetBlue Airways, credited with raising the standards of low-cost carriers in the US thanks to its friendly-service, satellite TV and free snacks. With headquarters in New York, the carrier has routes to 102 destinations across North, Central and South America. The company recently announced plans to remove its schedules from 11 online travel sites to encourage direct bookings, thereby cutting the commission it pays to third parties.

No-frills British airline easyJet burst onto the scene in 1995, launched by self-titled ‘serial entrepreneur’ Stelios Haji-Ioannou. It’s now the second-largest airline in Europe by number of passengers, behind Ryanair, carrying around 73 million people annually. EasyJet flies to more than 100 destinations throughout Europe and North Africa.

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Virgin America prides itself on offering a top-notch service at an affordable price. Even passengers in the main cabin can expect mood lighting, snacks, power outlets, wi-fi, leather seats and video touchscreens in every seatback. Those flying in Select and First Class have more legroom and premium meals. Virgin America flies to 21 destinations across the US, plus three in Mexico.

Jetstar Airways is based in Melbourne and promotes itself as “Australia’s No. 1 Low Fares Airline”. Founded in 2004, the company flies to destinations throughout Australia and New Zealand and also has routes to China, Japan, Vietnam, the US, Thailand, Malaysia, Fiji, Indonesia and the Cook Islands. Jetstar Airways is wholly owned by Qantas Airways, which offers a more premium service.

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Long-haul and low-cost carrier AirAsiaX has flown over 19 million passengers since it launched its maiden flight 10 years ago. It currently serves 23 destinations across Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and Africa. Earlier this year, founder Tony Fernandes ended speculation that the airline would return to Europe and start flying to the US, confirming the company will remain focused on Asia only.

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras is the latest success of co-founder David Neelemen, who also helped build JetBlue and WestJet. Founded in 2008, the São Paulo-based budget airline’s success is largely down to the fact it began by targeting under-served cities throughout Brazil. Its fleet of 125 jets now fly to more than 100 destinations throughout Argentina, Bolivia, French Guiana, Portugal, the USA, and Uruguay.

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The world’s largest low-cost carrier, Southwest Airlines has more than 700 Boeing 737 jets and operates more than 4,000 flights a day in peak season. The Dallas-based airline flies to around 100 destinations across the US, South America and the Caribbean.

New Dehli-based IndiGo is the largest airline in India in terms of passengers carried – a total of 41 million people last year. One of the fastest-growing aviation companies in Asia, it’s about to add another 400 Airbus jets to its current fleet of 100. IndiGo flies to 46 destinations, most of which are domestic, but also airports in Nepal, Oman, Qatar, Singapore and Thailand, along with Dubai and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

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Launched in 1996, WestJet was originally a small regional airline but has grown to become the second-largest carrier in Canada. The cost-conscious company now flies to more than 100 destinations throughout Canada, Central America, Mexico, Europe and the Caribbean – and plans to expand into Asia and South America in the next few years.

Owned by Singapore Airlines, Scoot was launched in 2012. The company offers a no-frills, low-cost service alongside business class ‘ScootBiz’, which offers extra legroom and larger, leather seats. Scoot operates services in Singapore, Honolulu, China, Malaysia and the Gold Coast of Australia.

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Jetstar Asia, an off-shoot of Jetstar Airways, flew into the skies in 2004. A latecomer to the budget aviation market, the business differentiated itself from other airlines by traveling within a five-hour radius of Singapore, while its competitors didn’t go beyond four hours. Jetstar Asia travels to around 100 destinations across India, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, New Zealand and Australia.

Low-cost carrier Eurowings flies to more than 150 destinations throughout Europe as well as Thailand and South Africa. The company offers passengers three fare options for both short and long-haul flights: Basic (flight only), Smart (preferred seating, food and luggage included) and Best (premium seating and legroom, à la carte catering and in-flight entertainment). Its parent company, Lufthansa, recently bought over 81 of Air Berlin’s plane, increasing the Eurowings fleet to 210 aircraft.

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Dublin-based Ryanair is Europe’s largest airline in terms of passenger numbers. The company serves 34 countries throughout the continent as well as Morocco and Israel. The budget airline made the list despite cancelling thousands of flights this summer after a ‘mess-up’ in how it scheduled time off for pilots. Customer satisfaction improved from 2014 when Ryanair allowed customers two free carry-on bags. But, from January 2018, passengers will be charged for the privilege.

Spain’s second-largest carrier, Vueling flies to over 160 destinations throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. The company, based in Barcelona, offers three fares: Basic, Optima (allocated seating and check-in luggage) and Excellence (front row, allocated seating, priority boarding, larger luggage allowance). The airline flew 2 million passengers in the UK during the summer 2017, an 8% increase from the summer season of 2016.

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Tigerair Singapore merged with Scoot in July 2017 and now operates under that name, but before all this it was voted the 17th best low-cost airline in the world. The economy service continues to operate flights throughout southeast Asia, Bangladesh, China and India. (This entry does not refer to Tigerair Australia, which is a different operation entirely.)

Japanese airline Peach operates 14 domestic routes and flies to 15 international destinations across Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Taiwan and South Korea. Passengers can chose between three fares: Simple, Value and Prime, with the more expensive options offering allocated seats, additional legroom and bigger luggage allowances.

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A low-cost subsidiary of Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge began operating in 2013 with just four aircraft. The company now has 49 planes and flies to more than 90 popular destinations throughout Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, South America and the USA. The airline is currently in the process of adding high-speed wi-fi to its entire fleet. All Airbus 319s will be equipped by spring, followed by its Airbus 321s and Boeing 767s later in 2018.

In 2014, Indian airline SpiceJet was about to fold – and was even forced to cancel 2,000 flights because it couldn’t afford to pay for oil. Its fortunes changed when chairman Ajay Singh took over and it’s now the third-largest carrier in the country. SpiceJet now operates more than 300 flights to 55 destinations throughout India, China, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

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Courtesy ; MSN & Skytrax

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Airport

ANAC Halts Porto Alegre Flight Sales, Due to Severe Airport Flooding

ANAC Halts Porto Alegre Flight Sales, Due to Severe Airport Flooding

In response to severe flooding that has rendered Salgado Filho Airport in Porto Alegre inoperable, the Brazilian Civil Aviation Regulator, the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC), has enacted a temporary prohibition on the sale of airline tickets to and from the airport.

This measure applies across all sales channels, including travel agencies, and will remain in effect until ANAC reevaluates the situation.

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The closure of the airport, located in the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, has had significant repercussions, affecting more than 490,000 passengers. The terminal remains indefinitely closed due to the flooding, with the runway still submerged under water.

In light of these circumstances, airlines are offering flexibility to affected customers. Passengers can reschedule their flights to Porto Alegre within a year of the original scheduled date without incurring additional fees. Alternatively, they can opt for a refund, either in cash or credit.

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To accommodate displaced travelers, airlines have increased the number of flights to nearby airports in the southern region of Brazil. This increase aims to prioritize passengers who already have issued tickets.

According to ANAC’s directives, airlines must identify and prioritize contact with passengers who have a pending return journey, whether traveling to or from Rio Grande do Sul, to facilitate their reaccommodations preferentially.

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Man Falls From Airplane Door In Indonesia After Staff Pull Back Stairs

Man Falls From Airplane Door In Indonesia After Staff Pull Back Stairs

An airline worker in Indonesia narrowly escaped serious injury in a harrowing incident at Jakarta Airport.

The episode unfolded when colleagues inadvertently removed the airstairs from a TransNusa Airbus A320 just as the worker stepped off the plane, causing him to plummet to the tarmac below.

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Reports detail the heart-stopping moment when the worker, engaged in conversation inside the aircraft, exited the door only to find himself stepping into thin air. Caught off guard by the sudden absence of the stepladder, he fell to the ground as his colleagues looked on in shock.

Fortunately, the quick response of those nearby ensured the worker received immediate medical attention, with reports indicating his condition is now stable and he has avoided serious injury. A viral video of the incident, shared by CEO of Avialaz Consultants Sanjay Lazar, has sparked widespread concern on social media platforms, drawing attention to the dangers faced by aviation personnel in high-pressure environments.

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In the footage, two crew members can be seen detaching the stepladder, unaware of the worker’s imminent departure from the aircraft. Moments later, the worker steps out, only to be met with empty space and a sudden descent to the ground. The chaotic scene unfolds as papers scatter in the air and bystanders rush to aid the fallen worker.

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Italian Airports Explore Passport-Free Travel with FaceBoarding Technology

Italian Airports Explore Passport-Free Travel with FaceBoarding Technology
Credit: Milan Airports

In a groundbreaking move toward seamless travel experiences, two Italian airports, Milan Linate and Catania, are leading the way with innovative “FaceBoarding” technology at their security checkpoints.

This cutting-edge facial recognition system enables passengers to breeze through the airport without the hassle of presenting their passport or boarding pass.

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Here’s how it works: passengers over 18 simply need to check-in and then proceed to the FaceBoarding desks, where they scan their passport or electronic ID card and undergo a facial scan for verification.

Once registered, travelers can enjoy expedited processes at security screening and boarding gates, with dedicated lanes ensuring priority for FaceBoarding users. Initially available for ITA Airways and Scandinavian Airlines passengers, the trial phase of this technology promises a glimpse into the future of air travel.

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While other airlines still require traditional document checks, those participating in the trial can enjoy the convenience of passport-free boarding. But the innovation doesn’t stop there. Soon, with the FaceBoarding app launching in June, registered users can streamline their future journeys by attaching boarding passes directly to their scanned identity documents. This seamless integration aims to enhance passenger convenience and airport efficiency.

Moreover, frequent flyers have the option to register for FaceBoarding for one or all of their flights during the trial period, which extends until December 31, 2025. This initiative optimizes the airport experience by minimizing the need for document checks while maintaining stringent security measures.

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Meanwhile, on a broader scale, the European Union is gearing up to introduce another form of biometric technology. The Entry/Exit System (EES) will automate the registration process for non-EU travelers, including those from the UK, streamlining entry procedures across EU airports.

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