The low-cost airline business model has only been around for a couple of decades, but it has developed a major presence in the airline industry.
According to PWC, low-cost airlines account for more than 25% of the world's aviation business.
From a pool of 407 carriers around the world, AirlineRatings.com selected the 10 safest low-cost and leisure charter airlines in the world.
To compile its list, the website evaluated each airline based on its standing with international regulators, its fatality record over the past 10 years, its results from an International Air Transportation Association(IATA) safety audit, and whether the airline's country of origin conforms with the International Civil Aviation Organization's 8-point safety parameters.
All of the airlines on this list passed those tests with flying colors. Want a cheap ticket and a safe flight? Have a look at these airlines.
10) Aer Lingus — Ireland's national carrier — operates a hybrid low-cost model that offers some of full service luxuries on its long-haul routes. The airline has not suffered a fatal accident since the 1960s.
9) JetBlue: AirlineRatings.com awarded Jetblue the honor of being the best low cost airline in North and South America. Jetblue has never had a fatal accident in company history.
8) Jetstar is the low-cost subsidiary of Qantas — AirlineRatings.com's safest airline in the world. The Melbourne-based airline has not suffered a crash in company history.
7) Thomas Cook is one of the largest holiday charter airlines in the world. The airline has no crashes on its safety record.
6) TUI Fly is a major German holiday charter airline. It, too, has never suffered a crash.
5) Westjet is Canada's largest low-cost airline. AirlineRatings.com praised the airline for its generous room and quality in-flight entertainment options for a budget carrier. WestJet has not crashed in company history.
4) Flybe: Established in 1979, Flybe is a low-cost regional airline based in southwest England. The airline has no fatal crashes on its record.
3) HK Express. The Hong Kong-based airline launched in 2004 as a regional airline servicing mainland China. In 2011, the airline adopted a low-cost business model and expanded its reach to destinations throughout Southeast Asia. HK Express has no fatal crashes on its record.
2) Volaris: Founded in 2005, the low-cost Mexican carrier is now the second largest airline in the country behind Aeromexico. Volaris, too, has no fatal crashes in its history.
1) Virgin America: Alaska Airlines recently acquired Virgin America in a $2.6-billion deal. It is unclear how much longer the Virgin America brand will remain. Since it commenced operations in 2007, the airline has suffered no fatalities.
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