Low-cost carrier fortunes rose in 2010

This story is sourced from Pro
See more Pro news »

Low-cost carriers enjoyed a strong bounce back in revenues over the last 12 months, growing nearly a fifth over the same period last year.

Figures from the latest Airline Business low-cost carrier survey show revenues among 36 no-frills and hybrid carriers grew 19% to $58.7 billion. Only two carriers saw their revenues fall in local currency.

US low-cost giant Southwest remains the largest carrier, generating revenues of $12.1 billion in 2010.

For an interactive breakdown of key data and current developments for the top 10 budget carriers by revenue, and to hear Southwest chief executive Gary Kelly talk about what it hopes to gain from its acquisition of AirTran, check out the low-cost carrier special edition of Airline Business, published today.

Southwest Airlines is also the largest carrier in passengers carried with 88.2 million. Ryanair leads the way among the rest of Europe's low-cost carriers in passenger numbers, followed by EasyJet and Air Berlin.

Total passenger numbers across low-cost carriers in 2010 jumped 15.7% to 639.6 million, while passenger load factor grew nearly three points to 79.7%.

Profits also took a turn for the better during 2010 with operating profits from nearly 30 low-cost carriers more than doubling to reach $4.2 billion over the previous year.