Budget flights lead recovery from 11 September

The popularity of low-fare flights has helped the air travel industry restore, and even increase, its figures to pre-11 September levels.

The popularity of low-fare flights has helped the air travel industry restore, and even increase, its figures to pre-11 September levels.

The "low-cost phenomenon" with budget operators such as easyJet and Ryanair offering one-way flights for under £1 in some cases, has helped the industry recover after a dramatic dip in sales after the terrorist attacks in the US in 2001.

Low-cost airlines now account for 12 per cent of scheduled flights.

This month, there will be 30 per cent more low-cost flights to and from the UK compared to last April, according to the quarterly airline traffic statistics from OAG, a travel data company.

Statistics show that airlines will operate more than 2.27 million flights worldwide - 111,000 more than April last year and 45,000 more than in April 2001.

This means the low-fare airlines' share of the market has doubled in terms of flights since April 2001, and budget airlines now account for 15 per cent of seats worldwide.

This month, flights to and from the UK are up by 7 per cent on a year ago, and the number of domestic flights has also risen. Budget carriers will account for 300,000 of the 2.27 million flights worldwide.

Duncan Alexander, the managing director of OAG business development, said: "The low-cost phenomenon continues to break all records. After two truly turbulent years in 2002 and 2003, the world's airlines have clawed their way back to pre-September 11 levels. China and low-cost carriers are leading the overall recovery.

Toby Nicol, the director of corporate affairs at easyJet, which has a revenue of £1.2bn, said business had increased for budget airlines since 11 September.

"In April 2001, easyJet had carried around nine million passengers in a 12-month period, whereas in the last 12 months, we have carried 26 million.

"September 11 will come to be seen as a watershed in the global aviation world. Since then, the traditional airlines have been smaller, and low-cost airlines have mushroomed. After the terrorist attacks, we ran very major seat promotions and cut prices while traditional carriers put prices up due to extra security costs," he said.

He added that until the attacks, the "low-cost phenomenon" had not been truly accepted in Europe.

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have been forced to cut capacity, with thousands of job losses, since 2001.

Europe, the Middle East, and Africa reflect the most dramatic year-on-year growth in low-cost operations, but all major world regions are showing double-digit percentage increases.

In the Asia-Pacific region, where low-cost aviation is quite new, budget flights have more than doubled since last year. In the established European and domestic US markets, low-cost airlines continue to expand.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UI / UX Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...

Recruitment Genius: General Processor

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot