Airlines Aviation News Europe

What Aircraft Types do European Low Cost Airlines Use?

As we previously saw in an article here on it is common practice for low cost airlines to use one aircraft type. If you wish to find out why, here’s the link to that post. In this post we’ll go over what aircraft type do Eurpean low cost airlines use.

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Which Low Cost Airlines Will we Analyze?

In modern aviation the line between full service and low cost airlines is getting thinner and thinner. However in this post we’ll be looking at the real low cost airlines of Europe. Which I consider to be:

  • Ryanair
  • EasyJet
  • Wizzair
  • Air Baltic
  • Vueling
What Aircraft Types do European Low Cost Airlines Use? Ryanair utilises an all Boeing 737 fleet, with planes from the NG and the MAX families operating its flights.

Ryanair and Its All 737 Fleet

The largest and most famous low cost airline in Europe is without a doubt Ryanair. For decades now the Irish low cost carrier has been operating an all 737 fleet.

First the NG family and now it is bringing into service the newest generation of 737s the controversial MAX version. Ryanair operates this aircraft type in a high density 3-3 layout across the cabin.

What aircraft type does EasyJet operate? The A320 family of jets spanning from the older CEO versions to the new generation NEO variants.

EasyJet Goes in The Opposite Direction

The British low cost airline, EasyJet, went in the complete opposite direction with Ryanair. They have chosen to use the 737’s nemesis, the A320 family of aircraft in all its variations.

EasyJet as a matter of fact has used all variations of the A320 starting from the smaller A319, A320 and the larger A321. They too are bringing into operation the newer NEO versions of the aircraft type.

Airbus A320 Wizzair's aircraft type of choice. The carrier uses a vast fleet of A320neo and A321neo which however have suffered in recent times of PW GTF issues.

Wizzair Also On The Airbus Wagon

Wizzair has made a similar choice to the one made by EasyJet. The rapidly growing and expanding Hungarian low cost airline uses an all Airbus A320 family fleet.

Air Baltic Opts For The Sleek A220

Air Baltic, half way between a full service and a low cost airline, made a more intriguing choice of aircraft type. The Latvian airline chose to sell and scrap all of its older planes to fly an all A220 fleet. The airline is loving the efficiency of the A220 and it capability of reaching all of it’s European destinations with an excellent load factor.

The Airbus A320 family is the Vueling Budget carrier preferred plane. The IAG low cost airline currently uses an exclusive Airbus A320 fleet. However among the airlines listed they will be receiving some Boeing planes too.

Vueling on the A320, For Now…

The IAG Group low cost airline, Vueling, also flies, as EasyJet and Wizzair do, the Airbus A320. However the Spain based airline might be mixing things up in the future as AIG is set to receive a large number of 737s, part of which will go to Vueling. Budget Airline Airbus A330 on Taxiing. The outlier in the European low cost carrier market with a mixed fleet of aircraft operating its services. The One That Stands Out Among The LCC Airlines

Jet2 is definitely the low cost carrier that stands out from the lot. They are the only one that doesn’t use a single aircraft type but a variaty. Specifically they use:

  • Boeing 737s
  • Airbus A320 and its variants
  • Airbus A330s
  • Boeing 757s

What Low Cost Airlines Aircraft Choice Has In Common

There is one thing than all these operators have in common, that is that they all operate single aisle, twin-engine high efficiency jets. They opt for these aircraft types because they ensure great economics and are easy enough to fill and achieve a high load factor. The airlines that still have a mixed fleet might do so for operational reasons as they might have to serve long range destinations or are in a transition phase.

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