By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: We know about the discount carriers in Canada but we’d like to explore discount airlines in Europe. Our son will be celebrating a birthday this spring and we’d like to see what other companies are out there.

A: Europe is open for business and you’ll certainly discover this when you peruse the cheap flights discount carriers are offering. The whole buzz of European discount airlines really started back in 1997. That’s when the European Union airline deregulation started, resulting in a burgeoning discount airline market.

Here’s a list of the more frequently used airlines you can consider over the Big Pond: SkyEurope ( Ripe for travellers seeking Eastern European destinations, this airline is considered Eastern Europes’s first low-cost carrier. Hubs include Prague, Budapest and Krakow. WizzAir ( A Hungarian and Polish company, this airline flies to 36 destinations including Budapest and Warsaw. Ryanair (

This Irish mega-discount airline company just keeps getting bigger. You’ve got over 400 routes in over 20 countries. This carrier is considered the model for setting the lowest airfare standards in Europe.

Lastly check out EasyJet ( The London-based airline is popular among Brits and is considered Europe’s second largest discount airline company. A note to consider when purchasing from one of the above companies is your departure hub.

These companies often use airports in less popular locales. For instance, you want to fly from London, England but the low cost carrier flies from Stansted, England.

Be prepared to be flexible on the flight schedule and airport location and factor in cab fare or shuttle bus service between the larger airports should you find yourself arriving into a big hub like London and departing from Stansted.


dispatches | q&a | photos | fork | newsletter | archives | links | search | store | streaming | submissions | about | contact | home

All text & photos © 2002-07