Budget airlines boost the world's air traffic

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The Independent Online

The continued growth in budget airlines in Europe is helping to increase the number of flights worldwide, a study has found.

Low-cost flights now account for 22 per cent of all flights in Europe – up 4 per cent on last year, statistics from the flight information company OAG showed.

The no-frills carriers are offering 30 per cent of the total of airline seats available in Europe this month – compared with 24 per cent during the same period in 2006. Budget airlines will offer 21.8 million seats on 133,000 flights within Europe this month, OAG has found.

The figures also reveal that Gatwick will see a 14 per cent increase in the number of transatlantic flights this month compared with September 2006. Altogether airlines around the world will operate 2.47 million flights this month – 4 per cent more than 12 months ago. The number of seats available on those flights will rise by 6 per cent to 295.1 million. OAG said that Heathrow to Amsterdam was the busiest international route in Europe, while Barcelona to Madrid was the world's busiest.

The busiest low-cost airline route was Mumbai to Delhi.

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