Questions about transport carriers using the low-cost carriers (LCCs) business model, which seeks to offer lower fares by providing reduced services.
The term low-cost carrier (LCC) refers to a business model in which a transportation carrier, such as an airline, seeks to reduce its operating costs as much as possible so that it can charge lower fares than full-service carriers. Although many began as scrappy startups, carriers like air-asia, easyjet, ryanair, and southwest-airlines are now among the largest airlines in the world by number of passengers carried.
There is no strict definition of an LCC nor a hard dividing line between LCCs and full-service carriers. Some full-service carriers have adopted LCC practices such as fees for telephone bookings and for checked baggage, and some LCCs have sought to differentiate themselves by offering strong in-flight entertainment features and airport lounge facilities. Some common LCC practices include
- Single class of service, sometimes with unassigned seating
- A mainly point-to-point network, often utilizing secondary airports, operated with a very limited variety of aircraft types, on mostly short-haul or mid-haul routes
- Unbundled pricing — separate charges for beverages, hand luggage, etc.
- Lack of interlining agreements with other airlines, for passenger booking or for baggage transfers
- Lack of amenities such as airport lounges or alliance privileges
- Simplified fare structure