The 10 best low-cost airlines in the world

In July, leading consumer aviation website Skytrax, named AirAsia the best low-cost airline in the world for the eighth consecutive year.

The Sepang-based airline was presented with the award at a ceremony during the 2016 Farnborough Airshow.

"We just won world’s best low-cost Airline for the eighth time, which is pretty damn cool," AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes told Skytrax. "I want to thank all my staff who ensure that low-cost doesn’t mean low quality."

"Even though we’ve won this award eight times, we know we can be better, we want to improve our customer service, we want to improve talking to you," Fernandes added.

The Skytrax rankings are based on the impressions of 19.2 million travellers from 104 different countries. The survey, which covered more than 280 airlines, measured 41 parameters ranging from boarding procedures to seat comfort to the quality of service.

Here are the 10 best low-cost airlines in the world, according to the results of the Skytrax survey.

10. Azul Brazilian Airlines

Previous rank: N/A

Why it's awesome: Azul Brazilian Airlines is the latest brainchild of JetBlue and WestJet co-founder David Neeleman. The Sao Paolo-based airline operates a fleet of new Airbus, ATR, and Embraer airliners mainly on routes within Brazil. Its Airbus fleet now operates to limited destinations in the US and Europe.

In addition to a top 10 finish, Azul also picked up the awards for Best Low-Cost Airline in South America and Best Airline Staff in South America.

9. Jetstar Asia

Previous rank: 9

Why it's awesome: Founded in 2004, Jetstar Asia is a Singapore-based subsidiary of Jetstar Airways which itself is the low-cost offshoot of Australia's Qantas Group. Jetstar Asia operates a small fleet of Airbus A320 airliners to destinations in southeast Asia.

Reviewers on Skytrax praise the airline for its effective ground staff and great value for money.

8. IndiGo

Previous rank:7

Why it's awesome: The New Delhi-based airline burst on the scene in 2006 and quickly became one of the best low-cost carriers in Asia. The airline operates a brand new fleet of more than 100 Airbus A320 jets. With more than 400 Airbus jets on order, IndiGo is one of the quickest growing airlines in the region. Reviewers on Skytrax praised the airline for its great cabin service and good value for money.

For the seventh consecutive year, IndiGo has been named Best Low-Cost Airline in Central Asia / India.

7. WestJet

Previous rank: 8

Why it's awesome: Since its launch in 1996, WestJet has grown to become Canada's second largest airline. The Calgary-based company is the work of Azul and JetBlue co-founder David Neeleman. WestJet currently operates its fleet of more than 100 Boeing jets to more than 100 destinations throughout North America and the Caribbean.

6. AirAsia X

Previous rank: 6

Why it's awesome: AirAsia X is the long-haul subsidiary of Malaysia's low-cost mega airline AirAsia. The airline's fleet of Airbus A330-300 jets are outfitted with both premium and economy cabins and operates throughout Asia.

In fact, the low-cost airline's premium service garnered AirAsiaX with the Skytrax awards for World's Best Low Cost Airline Premium Cabin and World's Best Low Cost Airline Premium Seat.

5. Jetstar Airways

The baby was delivered by a team of three doctors and crew

Previous rank: 5

Why it's awesome: JetStar Airways the low-cost subsidiary of Australia's national airline — Qantas. The Melbourne-based airline operates a fleet of Airbus A320 and Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Skytrax reviewers praised the airline for its quality cabin service and good value for money.

For the fifth year in a row, Jetstar has been named Best Low Cost Airline in Australia & Pacific.

4. EasyJet

easyJet's profits have been affected by a tumultuous financial year

Previous rank: 4

Why it's awesome: Over the past two decades, EasyJet and its no-frills, low-cost approach has helped it become one of the world's leading budget airlines. The airline's fleet of more than 230 Airbus jets fly to roughly 800 destinations throughout Europe.

Reviewers on Skytrax praised the airline for its solid service and low prices.

3. Norwegian

Previous rank: 3

Why it's awesome: Norwegian Air is one of the most aggressive and controversial airlines in the world. The low-cost carrier had drawn the ire of its US competitors by proposing a plan to operate trans-Atlantic flights using an Ireland-based subsidiary. The airline's critics claim that such a move would allow Norwegian to flaunt Norway's strict labor laws and use Ireland as a flag of convenience. Norwegian has denied these accusations. Regardless, Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos plans to launch $69 trans-Atlantic flights in the near future from the US.

In the mean time, the airline is certainly beloved by its customers. Norwegian has been named Best Low-Cost Airline in Europe four-years in a row. In addition, the company also picked up the award for the World's Best Long Haul Low-Cost Airline.

2. Virgin America

Virgin America came first while United came eighth

Previous rank: 2

Why it's awesome: Once again, Virgin America is not only the best low-cost airline in North America, it's also the best airline on the continent. The San Francisco-based boutique carrier offers the style and high quality service expected from a Virgin-branded company, but with the competitive prices of a low-cost carrier. In April, the company was sold to Alaska Airlines for $2.6 billion. It is unclear what the future will hold for the brand.

1. AirAsia

Previous rank: 1

Why it's awesome: For the eighth year in a row, AirAsia has earned the title of World's Best Low-Cost Airline. CEO Tony Fernandes and his team have done a miraculous job over the past 15 years to turn a small, failed, state-owned airline in one a multi-national aviation juggernaut.

Reviews of AirAsia on Skytrax praise the airline for its responsive customer service, friendly cabin crew, and efficient operation.

See additional airline information at Skytrax.

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