The term low-cost airline is all BS

My colleague Brendan Sobie recently interviewed the new chief executive of Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways Stefan Pichler. The former Virgin Blue exec got a little hot under the collar about the term low-cost airline.

Unprompted, Stefan said this to Brendan:

“Everybody who runs an airline always tries to have the lowest cost possible because it’s a bloody asset driven business. It’s just common sense.

StefanPichlerVB2.JPG“If you have an asset driven business then you try to operate it with the lowest cost possible. Everyone wants the lowest cost possible but on the other hand everyone wants the highest revenue possible. So we all chase for the lowest cost and highest revenue.

“The only one difference is a new start up company has lower costs than an established legacy airline because they are start up businesses.

“So forget about all this bull shit about low-cost airlines – everyone tries to be low-cost. Everyone! It’s a stupid little label. It’s a stupid label for people like you (journalists).”


Actually, Airline Business has long wondered about the low-cost carrier label, but not so much that we won’t stop using it.

See this leader article from June 2008: What is the real thing?

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