World’s best budget airlines 2024 revealed – with UK operator named best in Europe

AirAsia, Southwest Airlines and FlyDubai ranked among the top 25 low-cost operators

Natalie Wilson
Wednesday 29 May 2024 13:02
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EasyJet impressed with their passenger reviews and safety ratings
EasyJet impressed with their passenger reviews and safety ratings (Getty Images)

The world’s best budget airlines to cut costs without compromising on hospitality have been revealed – and easyJet topped the list for Europe.

A new ranking by AirlineRatings.com, an aviation safety and product website, ranked the top 25 low-cost airlines for 2024 as part of its annual Airline Excellence Awards.

The budget airlines were evaluated by a team of aviation experts based on 12 criteria including passenger reviews, fleet age, profitability, product offerings and safety and incident ratings out of seven stars.

Featured in the top 25, Vueling, Jetblue, Air Canada Rouge and Cebu Pacific impressed based on passenger feedback and safety audits from aviation governing bodies.

Vietnamese airline Vietjet was individually awarded the overall title of the best ultra-low-cost airline with the best quality onboard hospitality.

As for the regional winners, in Europe, easyJet took the top spot for the best low-cost airline.

The highest-ranking European airline was joined by fellow UK operato Jet2.

In February, Jet2 was also ranked among the world’s best airlines by consumer champion Which? in a UK passenger satisfaction survey.

The airline received a score of 81 per cent for “excelling” in reliability and customer support.

Southwest was considered by AirlineRatings.com to be the best budget carrier in the Americas, FlyDubai for the Middle East, AirAsia for Asia and the Jetstar Group for Australia and the Pacific.

Bo Lingam, CEO of the AirAsia Aviation Group said: “AirAsia continues to push the boundaries on what it means to be a low-cost carrier because low cost doesn’t mean low service for our airlines.

“As travel demand recovers to pre-pandemic levels, we have over 400 new specification aircraft on order to fuel our ambitious growth plans including flying to places we have never flown before, providing our guests with more value and choice, not only to and from Asia but across the world.”

AirlineRatings.com also judged the best-performing premium airlines of 2024. Korean Air, Cathay Pacific Airways, Air New Zealand and Emirates ranked in the top 10, with Qatar Airlines hailed as ‘airline of the year’.

“In our objective analysis, Qatar Airways came out number one in many key areas although it was a very close scoring for the top ten.

“The passenger reviews, however, scored Qatar Airways ahead of all airlines and its consistency and high standard of service delivery came through in the feedback,” said AirlineRatings.com editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas.

Top 25 low-cost airlines (in alphabetical order):

  • AirAsia Group
  • Air Baltic
  • Air Canada Rouge
  • Cebu Pacific
  • easyJet
  • Eurowings
  • FlyDubai
  • FlyNAS
  • GOL
  • Jetblue
  • Jet2
  • Jetstar Group
  • Jeju Air
  • Norwegian
  • Peach
  • Ryanair
  • Scoot
  • Spicejet
  • Suncountry
  • Southwest
  • Transavia
  • Vietjet
  • Volotea
  • Vueling
  • WizzAir

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