London Hotels Articles

June 30, 2010

Long-haul Budget Flights – the World Just Got Cheaper

The days when exotic holidays were reserved only for the privileged few are all but a forgotten memory. The growth of low cost airlines has been fundamental in making overseas travel a realistic possibility for everyone.

With budget airlines offering

cheap flights with prices as low as £19, it’s easy to see why the majority consider travelling abroad to be the more appealing holiday option.

Unfortunately for the traveller wishing to venture to the more far-flung corners of the globe, budget airlines focus mainly on travel within Europe.

However, all this could be about to change, with the launch of AirAsia X. A franchise of the Kuala Lumpur-based low-cost airline AirAsia, this is set to become the first airline in the world to offer customers the low cost model for long haul travel. It is reported that by the end of October 2007 it will start offering long-haul services from Kuala Lumpur to Australia and China for the price of £14, excluding tax and airport charges.

The idea of budget long-haul flights is not a new concept, far from it in fact. Laker Airways introduced the first-ever low fare “Skytrain” service between London Gatwick to New York’s JFK airport way back in 1977. Despite such forward thinking, the company went bankrupt in 1982.

The second company to ever attempt the budget airline model is Oasis Hong Kong Airlines. They began operating in October 2006, offering flights from London Gatwick to Hong Kong. In June 2007 they began an additional service to Vancouver.

If AirAsia X’s and Oasis Hong Kong Airlines prove successful, it could pave the way for more airline companies to follow suit. This is a development that I’m sure all travellers would welcome, as the main financial burden to anyone travelling outside of Europe is normally the cost of the airfare ticket itself.

Is this the future of things to come? We can only hope. In the mean time we can be grateful for the fact that we at least have the options to travel freely, without restraint and on top of that we have a multitude of cheap

flights from an ever-increasing selection of companies that are fighting for our custom.

So, in conclusion, it seems that it’s actually a good time to travel – and it looks set to get better.

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