Will low-cost transatlantic airlines continue to survive in the months ahead? That’s a big question currently asked by travel professionals. On its answer rest the hopes of many travelers that they may be able to enjoy a European vacation.
The pessimistic response to this question has been stoked by recent airline failures. WOW Air of Iceland has recently canceled several of its cheap flights from Midwestern U.S. cities to Europe. Another low-cost carrier, Primera Air of Scandinavia, has given up the fight altogether and closed down. Another giant low-cost transatlantic airline, Norwegian Air, is reportedly seeking outside investment to remain on its feet after heavy losses.
Operating costs of all the budget-priced transatlantic airlines have been worsened by a 35% increase in the cost of aviation fuel in the year just past.
And yet, to the surprise of some, most airline experts seem to be predicting that at least some low-cost carriers flying the Atlantic will continue in business in 2019, at a slightly increased pace from 2018.
For one thing, the rich Norwegian Air—flying most of the cut-rate flights between the U.S. and Europe—owns so many giant airplanes that it has no alternative to operating them.
The rich Eurowings subsidiary of Lufthansa is able to rely on the funds of its parent to continue flying, despite the losses.
What’s more, the cut-rate airline called Level seems more of a prestige product than a profitable one; owned by British Airways and Iberia Airlines, it seems to be flying the Atlantic at low cost more for the prestige of its parent companies than for profit.
So if you’re determined to vacation in Europe in the year ahead, go ahead with your plans, acting chiefly to snatch up a cheap airfare from one of the budget carriers.
Budget airlines like Norwegian, Level, WOW, Eurowings, and perhaps a few others, will still be operating for a time at low cost. But be sure to purchase a ticket before the limited supply is sold out.