After a year in which the aviation industry battled its worst crisis, there is light at the end of the tunnel as travel begins to return in some regions around the world.
While many airlines were forced to ground fleets for several months owing to restrictions imposed to help control the global pandemic, others have returned to the skies as travellers begin to gain confidence once again.
To coincide with this return of travel, AirlineRatings.com has revealed the top 10 best low-cost airlines in the world. The ranking can be used by passengers to decide which airline to book, by those seeking the best in affordable flying.
The Australian aviation safety and product rating agency compiles its rankings based on several criteria, including the age of the fleet, passenger reviews and product offerings. This year, airlines have also been ranked based on how they responded to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The top 10 low-cost airlines in 2021
1. easyJet (UK)
2. Jetstar (Australia)
3. Frontier (US)
4. JetBlue (US)
5. Ryanair (Ireland)
6. Scoot (Singapore)
7. Southwest (US)
8. VietJet Air (Vietnam)
9. Volaris (Mexico)
10. WestJet (Canada)
AirlineRatings.com editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas said that “each of these airlines has an excellent safety record and has made a big difference in their market”.
“From Southwest Airlines, which started the low-cost revolution in the 1970s, to JetBlue, which redefines the low-cost product, each airline has made a huge contribution to affordable travel.
“In Europe, it’s easyJet and Ryanair, in Asia Jetstar and Scoot, while in Americas one can add Frontier, Volaris and WestJet to Southwest and JetBlue. All are standouts.”
Sharjah's Air Arabia made its debut in 2020's list, but has been left out of the top 10 this year. It did, however, rank in the top 10 low-cost safest airline rankings that were published in January.
No other UAE airline was included in the top 10 list this year. That's despite an expansion of budget air travel providers, with the launch of two new low-cost airlines in Abu Dhabi.
Air Arabia Abu Dhabi and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi have commenced operations since the onset of the global pandemic, and offer flights in and out of the UAE capital.
How are the top 10 airlines chosen?
AirlineRatings.com chooses the top 10 budget airlines based on excellent safety and incident records, as well as commending those that have completed the stringent International Air Transport Association (Iata) Operational Safety Audit.
This optional evaluation system checks airlines on more than 1,000 points and is reassessed every two years.
The website also offers travellers a tool where they can compare the safety assessments of almost 400 airlines monitored by the rating agency.