Thursday, April 24, 2008

Euro Low-Cost Airlines

It’s not just here in the U.S. that airlines are struggling. Reuters reports that Francois Bacchetta, managing director of easyJet France, predicts that of the roughly 50 low-cost European carriers, only four will survive the competitive environment considering current fuel prices. ( counts 60 carriers.) Bacchetta said that if easyJet currently passed along fuel surcharges, the airline would need to “raise ticket prices by 10 percent ... and our payload factor would fall from 85 percent to 60 percent. Our whole low-cost business model would be thrown into question.” Of course, Bacchetta says that easyJet will be one of the four survivors. If this type of scenario turns out to be the case, it could be back to the trains (which are getting faster, are electric, and getting more competitive every day). If you’re planning European travel, and you give any credence to this report, to keep from disrupting your travel plans consider booking these types of flights at the last minute and always using a credit card.
(A tip of the hat to Online Travel Review for this lead.)