Two weeks ago, I posted a video on why flying is so expensive,
and, people seemed to like it.
However, they wanted to know, how are budget airlines so cheap?
好吧 这是另一个复杂的问题 但也很有趣
Well it’s another complex answer but an interesting one.
For the purposes of simplicity, and to keep our European friends from feeling left out,
we’ll focus on the European model of budget airlines.
尽管廉价航空遍布全球 北美 南非 印度 亚洲……
While there are low-cost carriers in North America, South Africa, India, Asia, and plenty
of other places, budget airlines really were first successful in Europe and that’s where
they’re still most prominent today.
The magnitude to which airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet reduce the cost in Europe， is also much more significant.
Budget airlines in the US might be 10 or 20% less expensive than their traditional competitors
但在欧洲 廉航票价可能仅仅是普通航空公司的1/2 甚至1/3
while in Europe a fare on a budget airline might only cost half or a third of what you would pay to a normal airline.
You can regularly find 2-3 hour flights on budget airlines for less than 10 euros
So how do they work?
Well, unsurprisingly, budget airlines essentially take every expensive part of the flight and
make them less expensive.
The most essential thing an airline needs is airplanes and it is possible to spend less on those.
In the months and years following 9/11, the growth of air travel stalled and most airlines
were simply fighting to survive.
Meanwhile, Ryanair was thriving
and placed a massive order of 151 737’s from Boeing at unbelievably low-prices.
A circumstance like that luckily isn’t frequent but budget airlines can place large orders
at any time which gives them a bulk discount.
It might seem weird that a budget airline would buy brand new airplanes, but the newest
planes are the most efficient which saves fuel.
The fuel efficiency of new aircraft offsets the higher purchase price, so EasyJet (4.0),
JetBlue (4.7), Ryanair (5.0), and Spirit Airlines (5.7) all have younger fleets than any major airline (KLM 9.4, Air France 11.5, Lufthansa
Budget airlines will also typically have only one type of plane.
Ryanair only operates 737’s and EasyJet only operates the a320 family.
Having only one type of Aircraft means that pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and
ground staff only need to be trained on one type of aircraft,
which saves an enormous amount of time and money.
Within the planes, budget airlines will often avoid luxuries to keep costs down.
Ryanair seats, for example, don’t recline,
because that increases the initial purchase price for seats,
and also requires more maintenance.
The seat design also saves time for flight attendants since there are no seatback pockets to clean between flights.
Flight attendants on budget airlines are often in the beginning of their careers and receive
Of course they’ll get the required safety training,
but only minimal hospitality training.
They’ll also often serve multiple roles.
While on the ground, some of the flight attendants might go to the gate and check tickets while
others clean the airplane.
Through this, the airline eliminates three or four positions that they regularly would pay for.
Onboard, flight attendants are of course responsible for food and drinks which are almost never free.
Onboard service can be an excellent way for the airline to make money.
Many budget airlines also do duty free sales and Ryanair even sells lottery tickets.
Let’s talk Airports.
You’re never going to see Ryanair fly to London Heathrow or Paris Charles de Gaulle
because those airports are expensive.
There’s only a set amounts of flights per day that can operate out of them so supply
and demand dictates that landing fees are high and slots are regulated.
于是 瑞安选择飞往伦敦的盖特威克 斯坦斯特德 卢顿机场 或是巴黎的博伟机场
Instead, Ryanair flies to Gatwick, Stansted, or Luton in London or Beauvais in Paris, which,
by the way, is a 80 minute bus ride away from Paris, isn’t even technically in the same
region of Paris, and has a website that looks like this!
In a lot of cases, Ryanair or other budget airlines are the only or one of a few airlines
flying out of an airport which gives them huge negotiating power.
Often they will take a small regional airport a ways away from a city and rebrand it as
another city airport.
They can ask for lower landing and takeoff prices and, if the airport doesn’t comply,
just leave and the airport will essentially cease to exist.
If there isn’t a viable cheap airport available around a city, budget airlines can also fly
to regular airports at less busy times,
when landing fees and the chance of delay might be lower.
Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty—the small details.
The planes of budget airlines tend to operate all day non-stop.
举个例子 在一天之中 这架瑞安的飞机从布鲁塞尔飞往哥本哈根
For example, in one day, this Ryanair plane went from Brussels to Copenhagen, Copenhagen
再从哥本哈根回到布鲁塞尔 之后又从布鲁塞尔出发至布拉格 然后又回到布鲁塞尔 接着又从布鲁塞尔飞往尼姆 再从尼姆回到布鲁塞尔
to Brussels, Brussels to Prague, Prague to Brussels, Brussels to Nimes, Nimes to Brussels,
Brussels to Trevioso, then finally Trevioso to Brussels.
Budget airlines will schedule only 30-45 minutes between the landing of one-flight to the take-off
of another which often leads to delays and leaves very little time to clean the aircraft.
This does, however, mean that the airplane is always making money and passengers are
not paying for the time it’s sitting around.
Ever wonder why Southwest doesn’t have reserved seating?
Well by having a first come first serve system for seats, people almost always show up to
the gate early and line up in an orderly line.
通过这种方法 廉航减少了登机时间 增加了飞行时间
This way, less time is spent on the ground boarding and more time in the air flying.
Another principle of budget airlines is the point-to-point model.
Most traditional airlines have hubs where most or all of their flights go in and out of.
英航的在伦敦 法航的在巴黎 荷航的在阿姆斯特丹
British Airlines has London, Air France has Paris, KLM has Amsterdam.
To get to most places on these airlines, you have to connect through their hubs.
Budget airlines, on the other hand, try to have a lot of destinations from everywhere.
That does mean, however, that many destinations are served only a few times per week.
The cheapest budget airlines don’t even allow for connections between their flights.
Allowing connections adds cost because then you have to pay for ground crews to transfer
bags, create a more complicated ticketing system, and pay to rebook a passenger if a
delay in their first flight makes them miss their second.
Speaking of ticketing, there’s often no way to get a ticket from a real person on budget airlines.
Ryanair charges 45 pounds if you fail to print your boarding pass at home and EasyJet and
some other carriers have almost all their check-in’s handled by machines.
This, once again, cuts down on personnel costs.
在机场 这些廉航甚至不会使用廊桥 因为廊桥非常昂贵
At the airport, these budget airlines won’t bother using jetways because they’re expensive.
They’ll use steps and just have passengers walk across the tarmac or take a bus to the plane.
Budget airlines make a lot of money, if done right.
易捷（11.15%） 瑞安（24.10%） 维兹（10.2%）都有着更高的利润率
EasyJet (11.15%), Ryanair (24.10%), and Wizz Air (10.2%) all have higher profit margins
相对于汉莎（4.03%） 英航（7.09%） 法航（2.15%）来说
than Lufthansa (4.03%), British Airways (7.09%), and Air France (2.15%).
Many of the traditional airlines have unionized workers with salary agreements that cannot
be changed while the budget airlines can hire anyone and train them in a few months.
It’s also hard for these traditional airlines to grow.
Any route they make has to be one with a lot of preexisting demand since much of their
business comes from business travelers.
Since budget airlines are targeted more towards tourists, any destination that Ryanair, for
以瑞安为例 每条新航线 都能使其目的地成为受欢迎的景点
example, opens up in will become a popular destination just because it’s possible to
go there for so cheap.
Some traditional airlines in Europe are opening their own budget airlines,
to get in on this profit.
Air France created Transavia and Lufthansa created Eurowings,
both of which are losing massive amounts of money.
What they seem to forget is that the US went through this budget airline within an airline phase a couple decades ago.
Delta created Song, which failed.
US Airways created MetroJet, which failed.
美联航建立了通勤航空 失败了 随后宣布破产
United created Shuttle, which failed, then they went into bankruptcy and decided they
但又还想再试一下 于是建立了泰德航空 又失败了
should try again and make Ted, which failed.
None of these worked!
The reason Ryanair and EasyJet are able to succeed where others have failed is largely
because they are so large and flexible.
他们有着数百架飞机 数百个目的地 数千名员工
They have hundreds of planes, hundreds of destinations, thousands of employees, and
negotiating power that allows them to overpower competitors.
最后 对于我们消费者来说 竞争永远是好事
In the end, for us consumers, any competition is good competition.
Even failing budget airlines will bring down the cost of traditional airlines and allow
us to travel the world for less.
Thank you for watching.
I hope you enjoyed this video.
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I’ll be back next week with another episode from That Wikipedia List.