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INTERACTIVE: A countdown of the biggest low-cost carriers in 2012

Budget carrier Ryanair’s improved performance in its 2012/13 financial year makes it the leading operator in the segment by net profit over the last year.

Financial figures for the leading carriers, collated as part of this year’s Airline Business low-cost carrier survey, show Ryanair out as making the most money after posting a net profit of €569 million ($730 million) for the year ending March 2013.

Malaysian budget operators AirAsia recorded a net profit of $610 million, while Southwest Airlines and EasyJet logged profits of $421 million and $403 million. The latter, which has a financial year running to September, has already cut interim losses for the traditional making winter first-half.


Southwest Airlines, which acquired AirTran in the autumn of 2011, remains the biggest low-fares by revenue. Including AirTran, the carrier posted revenues of $17 billion in 2012. Ryanair and EasyJet were the next two biggest posting revenues in excess of $6 billion in their respective latest calendar years.

Southwest, when AirTran is included, is the largest budget sector operator carrying 134 million passengers in 2012.

For a countdown of the top 10 largest budget sector carriers by revenue of the last 12 months, check out the 2013 Airline Business low-cost carrier interactive edition. Published in association with CFM International, this year’s edition also includes a breakdown of the ten leading budget carriers for the Americas, Asia and Europe, together a breakdown of the fleet of the leading players.

Download the interactive edition for free here.

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