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Budget Airlines Are Favourites With British Flyers

The rise of the cheap airfare continues to dominate the market when it comes to British flyers.

The budget airlines account for carrying the majority of passengers flying out from UK airports, a new study reveals.

British airports saw more than 93m people starting their journeys last year and of that total 52% flew via a low-cost airline. The new figures represent a four-point rise on 2011 when 48% used a budget carrier.

The new data, from travel industry technology company Amadeus, showed that the popular budget carriers were responsible for a 38% share of European flight traffic in 2012, which represents an increase from the 36.5% total in the previous year.

Airlines such as Easyjet, Ryanair and FlyBe operate in an extremely competitive market and their continued success is having knock-on effects on other carriers such as British Airways on the short haul routes they fly.

The figures show that these airlines now have the biggest regional market share in the world for this sector. For example, North American budget airlines have only 30.2% of their market, and in Asia, the penetration of similar operations is even lower at only 18.6%.

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However, the report revealed that Asia is the biggest and fastest-growing region, based on where journeys started, with 787 million passengers. Europe was in second place with a total of 680 million, and North America third with 597 million.

The Amadeus report also showed that global air travel was concentrated on "super routes" with 3% of all worldwide scheduled routes accounting for 85% of the total number of flights.

The busiest route in terms of passenger numbers in 2012 was the one joining Jeju and Seoul in South Korea, which carried over 10 million people. The next busiest was Sapporo to Tokyo in Japan with 8.21 million passengers.

None of the 10 busiest routes last year was in Europe.

Budget airlines are a great way to keep the overall cost of a holiday to a minimum. Another good way to do this is by taking a prepaid travel card, which helps you stick to your budget while overseas.

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