Low Cost International FlightsCheap international flights
Indeed, the possibilities for affordably priced trans-atlantic flights from destinations throughout Western Europe have increased enormously with the entry of new low-cost carriers and the implementation of reduced tariffs by incumbent carriers. Strong aeronautical sector rivalry for this new battlefield has created travelling possibilities for those who live all over Europe and on the other side of the Atlantic to take benefit from low tariffs.
Norway provides flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and New York to major airports in Europe. Today it operates Dreamliner planes from its base in Barcelona, Copenhagen, London Gatwick, Paris, Rome and Stockholm to some of the most important tourism and commercial targets in the USA.
This includes Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Denver and various Florida neighborhoods. The new Boeing 737 MAX planes are used on some of the relatively shorter Belfast, Cork, Dublin and Edinburgh services to Providence, Newburgh and Hartford - all near major towns such as Boston and New York.
Primera Air is another Scandinavian rookie this year, initially flying to holiday resorts and now flying on new services from London Stansted and Paris to Boston, New York, Toronto and Washington D.C. with state-of-the-art Airbus A320neo aircraft. Another winding Atlantic crossing is via Iceland. For a long time a necessary stop for older generations of aircraft without feet to fly non-stop across the oceans, today what is used by airlinesWOW air and its slim, violet aircraft to provide a wider selection and lower prices.
Reykjavik offers a variety of departure points throughout Europe, allowing customers to get off at Reykjavik and change to another plane with as many American and Canadian choices. Primera Air, the low-cost airline in Europe, operates flights to Boston, New York, Toronto and Washington D.C. So why is it all of a sudden less expensive to travel longer routes?
What they have in common is that they are low-cost companies which withdraw their on-board offerings in order to draw customers with a fundamental no-frills fare, which is highly competitive in comparison to the regular fare of major airline operators such as British Airways, KLM and Lufthansa. It also uses the latest generations of airplanes, which are much more lightweight and fuelefficient, which means that passenger transportation over longer journeys is less expensive than ever.
Skúli Mogensen, CEO of WOW Airlines, says he sees his carrier as a "logistics services provider", similar to Amazon, which sends its goods from A to B2 and looks for ways to automatise and cut expenses that become "irresistible" to travellers. Freddie Laker's low-cost flight over the Atlantic has been in use since the early eighties, when he began his Skytrain flight between London and New York.
Richard Branson was the inspiration behind it when he established Virgin Atlantic in 1984. Laker, however, was soon pressed out, and Virgin later became a full-service carrier. Today the distinction is that the incumbent carrier is obliged to stand out, as the young start-ups seriously disrupt the markets with striking tariffs and advertising campaign.
The International Airlines Group (IAG), which runs both British Airways and Iberia in Spain, recently established its own low-cost spin-off, named LEVEL. Designed for Barcelona and Paris travellers, it offers similar base rates and services to Norwegian. In other European countries, Deutsche Lufthansa has launched a long-haul segment of its low-cost affiliate EUROWING S, while Thomas Cook has launched a number of services from Germany and the UK to US destinations such as Los Angeles, New York and Seattle.
"As a rule, no frills" fares mean that a passenger can only travel with carry-on bags. A further possibility, as the big-name try to win back the passenger, is a new phenomena known as "hand baggage only". When you try to travel with British Airways, Brussels Airlines or Virgin Atlantic, you get this alternative with a lower cost in exchange for no hold bags and a few other limitations.
However, the benefits are that the airline's regular customers can continue to receive credit for their flights, which is seldom the case with real low-cost carriers. If you take a cheap rate with Norwegian, WOW and LEVEL or Primera, please note that onboard services are restricted unless you are paying for add-ons.
You cannot board your luggage with the lowest rates and no free meals or free entertainments are offered. For example, a trip from Ireland to the east coast seldom lasts more than six and a half hour, which is not so hard to bear without eating or backresting.
In New York you can arrive in Newburgh Stewart in Orange County, in San Francisco you can arrive via the Bay in Oakland. Pay attention to promotions and be agile with your travelling schedules as airline companies usually adapt rates as needed. Of course, these services serve travellers in both ways, and tens of millions of Canadian and US residents now enjoy low fare European destinations.
While JetBlue and Southwest Airlines - two of America's biggest low-cost airlines - are expected to be involved in trans-Atlantic flights in the near term, the Canadian WestJet is already providing low-cost ticketing from its major international destinations to Europe. So far, the pan-European carrier easyJet and the low-cost carrier Ryanair have been reluctant to announce their own trans-atlantic aspirations.
Increased rivalry is likely to lead to a tariff war on important air services, especially where incumbent carriers find themselves under threat. UK aerospace author and publisher of the acclaimed Airports Spotting Blog, Matt Falcus provides the latest information on air carriers and airports around the globe on a day-to-day basis.