The World's Best Budget Airlines

The World’s Best Budget Airlines

Traveling the world doesn't have to be expensive as long as you're prepared to concede certain comforts. Most of the time this means that passengers have to pay extra for checked luggage, as well as onboard food and beverages. Major carriers have recognized that the most important factor in booking a flight is the price. The business of reasonable flights has grown so much, prizes and honors are now bestowed every year. The following list is based on the 2016 World Airline Awards.


The Malaysian low-cost airline headquartered near Kuala Lumpur flies to more than 100 destinations across Asia with numerous frequencies a day. AirAsia is also the continent's largest budget carrier by number of passengers flying and jet fleet. They are named the best low-cost airline in the world for eighth year in a row.

Virgin America

Virgin America's headquarters are in Burlingame, California. The airline began operations in 2007. People like the company because it offers cheap fares, comfortable seats and cabin staff service, according to reviews. The carrier was ranked No. 1 in Best Low-Cost Airlines in North America, and third in the Best Low Cost Airline Premium Cabin and Seat categories.


This is the third largest low-cost carrier in Europe and the second-largest airline in Scandinavia. They fly to over 100 destinations worldwide. The airline has flights to 75 places departing from New York alone. Norwegian is the World's Best "Long Haul" Low Cost Airline, second in premium cabin and seats category, and the best budget carrier in the Old Continent.  


The British low-cost airline carrier based at London Luton Airport flies over 820 routes in 32 countries for a total of 134 destinations. Two of their popular logos are "This is Generation easyJet" and "the web's favorite airline." The airline is ranked second best in Europe. People prefer the carrier for the professional staff, many cheap options, and much improved service compared to 3-4 years ago.

Jetstar Airways

The Australian low-cost airline headquartered in Melbourne flies to 39 destinations, up from 35 two years ago. "For the price of the flight they are miles ahead of Air New Zealand," one passenger wrote on You get one free carry-on bag up to 7 kg. Reviewers also praise the carrier for seat comfort and staff service.

AirAsia X

This is the long-haul, sister budget airline of AirAsia. It was ranked the Best Low Cost Airline Premium Cabin and Seat, No. 2 in Asia and in Australia/Pacific, and sixth overall in the world. The airline currently serves 19 destinations across Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. AirAsia X operates a core fleet of 29 A330-300s. The airline has carried over 15 million passengers since it started the long-haul service in 2007.


The Canadian low-cost airline is ranked No. 7 in the world and No. 2 in North America. It flies to about 90 destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. "WestJet has certainly stepped up their game and is quickly climbing the ladder to becoming one of the Big Boys," a recent review on TripAdvisor says. The company has a custom-painted aircraft featuring Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer Mickey and Frozen-themed plane.


The low-cost airline headquartered at Gurgaon, India, is the largest airline in the country when it comes to passengers. The company has almost 40 percent market share. IndiGo is also ranked the third best budget carrier in Asia and No. 1 in the Central Asia/India region. Customers give high remarks for seat comfort, money value and inflight service.

Jetstar Asia

The Singaporean airline, which was founded in 2004, is the Asian offshoots of parent Jetstar Airways, the low-cost subsidiary airline of Australia's Qantas carrier.  The company's major strength, according to, is that it is a low cost "no frills" airline with competitive fares. It has a fleet size of 18 and flies to 27 destinations.

Azul Airlines

The Brazilian low cost carrier's logo is "You Up There." "I took 4 flights with Azul while I was in Brazil and Ihad a great service. The flight attendants are great and caring," one person wrote on This is similar to what most reviews read. People rank Azul high for an overall excellent experience and very polite and helpful staff. They are the No.1 budget carrier in South America.


"Scoot to your next holiday." This logo seems to be working well for the Singaporean low-cost long-haul airline, which was launched in 2012. It predominantly flies to Australia and China. Customers like them for professional service, value for the money and comfortable seats. Passengers are allowed to take up to 33lbs. of cabin baggage on board. It may consist of two pieces.


Kulula was ranked No. 1 in the Best Low-Cost Airlines in Africa category. The South African no-frills airline operates on major domestic routes airports just outside Johannesburg. The carrier also flies to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Kenya and Mauritius. Kulula Airlines are well-liked for their attractive fares and reliability.


This state-owned South African low-cost airline is ranked second in Africa. They have operated with the best on-time performance in South African skies for the past six years and continue to have the lowest cost base domestically. People like them for seat comfort, leg room, value for the money and customer service.


Fastjet was ranked the No.3 best low-cost carrier in Africa. It is serving Eastern and Southern Africa, flying to 11 airports in six countries. The carrier is on its way of becoming Africa's first pan-continental airline. Since launching in 2012, they have flown nearly 2,250,000 passengers with customers benefitting from fares as low as $20 one way. Customers like them for seat comfort and reliability.


The German low-cost airline headquartered in Düsseldorf is the third Best Low-Cost Airlines in Europe. They fly to more than 130 destinations in Europe and selected tourist hotpots around the world, including in Mexico, Morocco, the U.S., Thailand and the Dominican Republic. "Happy to use them again as good value fares if booking in advance," a recent review on TripAdvisor says. Most people prefer the carrier for its good value for the money.


The government-owned low-cost airline is ranked the Best Low-Cost Airlines in the Middle East. The carrier also made the Top 10 for best premium cabin and seat quality. The company operates routes to more than 90 destinations across the Middle East, Subcontinent, Africa, Russia and Eastern Europe. They claim to have some the most environmentally-friendly planes in the sky.

Air Arabia

This is the second best budget carrier in the Middle East, and the region's largest low-cost carrier. Its headquarters are in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. The airline flies to 101 destinations spread across the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and Europe. Customer praise Air Arabia for good service on board, comfortable seats and enough leg room (32 inches).

Jazeera Airways

The Kuwaiti airline is ranked No. 3 in the Middle East. The carrier currently serves 19 destinations across the region and operates a modern fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft all fitted with their signature leather seats and a two-class cabin. Jazeera Airways' Economy Class amenities include 40 kilograms in free baggage allowance for every passenger and a complimentary selection of on board meals.

Southwest Airlines

The world's largest budget carrier, headquartered in Dallas, is ranked the third Best Low-Cost Airlines in North America. Southwest Airlines' pitch is 32-33 inches on a long-haul economy flight with a Boeing 737-800. It consistently boasts a 32-inch seat pitch. People also like them for their professional staff and good value for their money.


This is a regional low-cost carrier that operates in Colombia. It is ranked No. 2 in South America. Their main focus is to fly to places few other carriers do. "Easyfly ground staff [...] was quite helpful and professional. Flight was smooth and punctual. No complaints at all," one review on says.


This Brazilian low-cost airline is ranked the third best in South America. They focus on keeping customers amused during flights as they offer free videos and music. The carrier flies to about 60 cities in South America, the Caribbean and the U.S. Gol gets the highest marks for great value for passengers' money.


The Indian low-cost carrier is the fourth largest airline in the country by number of passengers. It is ranked as the second best in Central Asia/India after IndiGo and the eight best in all of Asia. They fly to 52 destinations.  


The low-cost carrier based in Mumbai is ranked the third Best Low-Cost Airlines in Central Asia/India. The airline currently operates over 140 daily flights and approximately 975 weekly flights across 22 destinations. People say in reviews that they will keep flying with them because of the nice staff and good value for their money.