Europe’s Budget Airlines Are Set for Another Summer Surge

Despite pesky inflation and higher fares, the Continent’s low-cost airlines expect a lot full planes this summer.

Photo via Ryanair, Piotr Mitelski

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This is beyond revenge travel. Even amid high ticket prices and economic turbulence, flights on Europe’s top budget airlines are expected to hit new records this summer, the Financial Times reported. 

Up, Up, and Away

After the pandemic canceled several years of flights, vacation plans, and business trips, 2023 served as one heck of a rebound. Global traffic increased 37% from 2022, and equaled roughly 95% of the total traffic for 2019. Even with the cost of living weighing heavily on many, Europeans were still hungry for travel — and airlines were able to hike ticket prices to offset rising fuel costs. This year looks like it’s shaping up to be even bigger. 

  • Budget airlines expect another strong summer. EasyJet said it’s sometimes filling two planes a minute. Ryanair reported that bookings are up 5% compared to last year. And Wizz Air has also indicated strong fares so far this year. 
  • European airlines as a whole will have nearly 820 million seats available between April and October, the highest number on record, according to OAG data reported by the FT. 

Tickets, Please: Here in the US, the cost of flying is expected to hold relatively steady compared to last year. International fares will go up a little, while domestic flight prices will decrease slightly, Hayley Berg at booking service Hopper told The New York Times. So if you got Paris out of your system last year, something along the lines of Tampa, Phoenix, or Las Vegas could make more economic sense.