Aviation

It’s the battle of the Low-Cost Carriers!

In the orange corner, we have Jetstar, in the blue corner, we have Ryanair, and in the striped corner, we have Tigerair Australia.

But hang on, there’s another contender – Scoot has jumped into the ring, ladies and gentlemen in the yellow corner!

Ok, we’ll drop the boxing analogy and get right to it. Remember when we said earlier this week that flying with a Low Cost Carrier didn’t necessarily mean crap service and product?

Well, we picked four of the many LCCs around the world to compare and contrast, to see what’s out there, and to see where certain airlines shine brighter.

It might not be a Rocky Balboa-level boxing fight, but these LCCs sure have something to prove, and they’re here to fight it out for your respect and their integrity.

Let’s see who you deem the winner.

Enter contestant #1: Tigerair

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Fleet

The Tigerair Australia fleet currently consists of 14 Airbus A320 aircraft and 4 Boeing 737-800, with a progressive transition planned to a wholly 737 fleet over the coming years.

Cabin Offerings

Tigerair comes with a few extras you can tack onto its basic fares, including:

  • Cabin+ – which allows you to increase your carry-on allowance to 12kg if the 7kg included on Light or Express fares isn’t enough.
  • A tiered payment system for checked baggage, where it’s cheaper the earlier in the booking process you purchase.
  • Queue jump – allows you to skip the line at the gate and be one of the first to board.
  • Tigerbites menu – available to pre-order or buy onboard.
  • Seat Selection – If you choose, you can select your own seat prior to flying.
  • Move me – gives passengers that arrive at the airport early the chance to choose to move to an earlier flight.
  • Fare Freeze – gives you the opportunity to hold your fare price for 48 hours for a small fee.

Network

Tigerair Australia is a low cost carrier which operates 14 A320 aircraft domestically across 19 domestic routes (21 with the addition of new routes Brisbane – Whitsunday Coast and Brisbane to Perth launching in 2017) and to 12 destinations around Australia.

Tigerair Australia currently operates over 400 domestic flights per week, with around 72,000 seats per week available.

On-time performance

Tigerair has an on-time performance rank of 74 per cent in the 12 months to September 2017, according to stats drawn from BITRE Airline On Time Performance Monthly.

Awards

In the list of top 100 airlines of 2017, according to Skytrax, Tigerair came in at #90.

Enter contestant #2: Scoot

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Fleet

Scoot started out from a humble fleet of just 3 Dreamliners, and are now a proud family of 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 23 Airbus 320s, with more on the way!

On the Dreamliners, the seats and spacious and cabins roomy, with sdjustable headrests, large overhead bins, inflight Wi-Fi, quieter engines, 4x cabin moisture, fresher air and mood lighting.

Cabin Offerings

Scoot’s got oodles of good stuff to tack onto your fare, all for great value that means you choose to pay for what’s important, and skip what you don’t care about. These goodies include:

  • MaxYourSpace – allowing you to reserve seats around you so you can really stretch out. It;’s available in a first-come-first-serve basis, lets you choose how many extra seats you want, where available, and get it all approved six to 12 hours before take-off.
  • Super Seats – which come with 30 per cent more legroom and adjustable headrests
  • Stretch Seats – which have 50 per cent more legroom, adjustable headrests, and are located up the front in the row of seats, meaning you’re all stretched out (see what we did there?) and you’re one of the first off the plane.
  • ScootinSilence quiet zone – which is a child-free zone (for kids under 12). That means no crying babies.
  • Fly, FlyBag and FlyBagEat – airfare bundles with different priorities: the first scores you a standard seat on a B787 Dreamliner, 6” of seat recline, and up to 10kg of cabin baggage, the second an extra 20kg of checked baggage, and the third an additional hot meal combo.
  • ‘ScootBiz’ – which features all the good stuff mentioned above, plus 38” legroom, wider leather seats with headrests and leg rests, and complimentary in-seat power, seat selection, premium meal and bevvy, and 30kg of checked baggage. Plus you can also stream movies/TV to your device where available.
  • ChangeYourFlight – let’s you request a voucher fund where you need to cancel a flight due to a change in travel plans.
  • PlusPerks – an optional add-on bundle you can purchase for your Scoot flights when you book online, starting from SGD/AUD39 (for short-haul flights) to SGD/AUD99 (for extra long-haul flights) per passenger. This gets you KrisFlyer miles, preferred seat selection + extra legroom, booking flexibility, and priority check-in and boarding.

Network

The world’s first all 787 Dreamliner fleet operates between Singapore and Sydney, Gold Coast, Bangkok, Taipei, Tokyo, Tianjin, Shenyang, Nanjing, Qingdao, Seoul, Hong Kong, Perth, Osaka, Kaohsiung, Hangzhou, Melbourne, Guangzhou, Jeddah, Chennai, Amritsar, Sapporo, Dalian and Athens.

On-time performance

Scoot boasts an on-time performance rate of 83 per cent as of May this year. Check out how they’ve improved:

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Awards

Scoot was voted 2015, 2016 and 2017 Best Low Cost Airline (Asia/Pacific) by AirlineRatings.com and ranked in the Top 10 of the World’s Best Low-Cost Airlines in 2015 by Skytrax.

Enter contestant #3: Ryanair

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Fleet

Ryanair operates a fleet of 400 Boeing 737-800 series aircraft, with orders for 115 new Boeing 737 aircraft and 110 new Boeing 737 MAX 200s, plus options for 100 more of these. This should enable Ryanair to grow its fleet to 585 by 2024.

Cabin Offerings

  • Standard fare – the lowest fare of the lot, as cheap as 14.00 Euro for domestic flights.
  • +Plus – the lowest fare, with a 60 day check-in, 20kg checked baggage, priority boarding and reserved standard seating
  • Flexi Plus – in addition to offerings in the Plus airfare, it adds the option to be flexible with your tickets, optional airport check-in and an additional Fast Track service, with priority lane access at the airport.

Network

Ryanair connects 33 countries with Ireland on its international network, and has 86 bases across Europe and North Africa. Altogether, it operates a total of 1800 routes from 200+ airports.

On-time performance

Ryanair operates over 600,000 flights a year and 88 per cent of those flights arrived on time in the last 12 months. The airline also publishes its customer service stats every month. For July 2017, the on-time performance was 83 per cent.

Awards

Ryanair was awarded Europe’s Leading LCC Airline in both 2003 and 2005, while also being nominated for World’s Leading LCC, Leading Cabin Crew, and most Efficient LCC in 2017.

In the list of top 100 airlines of 2017, according to Skytrax, Ryanair came in at #76.

Enter contestant #4: Jetstar

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Fleet

Jetstar Airways is an LCC that operates routes across Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region.

Jetstar’s international long haul services are serviced by a fleet of 11 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, configured with 21 seats in Business and 314 seats in Economy.

The 53 Airbus A320s in Jetstar Airways’ fleet can carry 180 passengers within Australia and New Zealand and on flights within Asia. It offers the widest cabin of any single-aisle aircraft in the sky.

Jetstar Airways also has 6 Airbus A321 aircraft in its fleet, a longer variant of the A320 that can carry between 220 and 230 passengers.

Cabin Offerings

  • Buy a comfort pack – passengers can purchase a pack that includes an inflatable neck pillow, toothbrush and toothpaste, earplugs, socks, an eye mask and Ecothread blanket.
  • Economy Starter fare – with the Starter fare, 7kg of carry-on luggage is yours, with additional extras of baggage (from 15-40kg), seat selection, pre-purchased meals and entertainment.
  • Starter Plus bundle – This bundle gives you flexibility around name, date and time changes, standard seat selection, 20kg checked bagage, the option to frequent flyer points if you’re a member, and a meal, snack or in-flight voucher.
  • Starter Max bundle – with this fare, you’re getting 30kg checked-in baggage, extra legroom, upfront seat selection, increased reward points, fare flexibility such as refundable fares, meal, snack or in-flight voucher, and lounge access.
  • FlexBiz bundle – allows you to catch an earlier or later flight on the same day, make changes with no fees, cancel your flight for a credit voucher,extra carry-on baggage, seat selection and a meal.
  • Jetstar Business Class – in addition to all the extra stuff, this fare gets you 2 x 7kg carry-on bags, 30kg checked baggage, extra-wide seats, dedicated cabin service, priority check-in and boarding, inflight entertainment, and a comfort pack. Upgrade to Business Max bundle for extra frequent flyer points, no fees for changes to fares, refundable ticket and lounge access.

Network

Collectively the Jetstar Group offers more than 5,000 flights a week to 85 destinations in 18 countries and territories across the Asia Pacific region.

On-time performance

Collecting data from flights using the Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), Jetstar has proven to have an on-time performance rating that sees them depart within 15 minutes of scheduled departure time.

In 2015, Jetstar had an average on-time performance of 78.6 per cent, and in 2016 an average of 73 per cent.

Awards

This year, Jetstar was named the best LCC in the Australia Pacific by Skytrax for the seventh year in a row.  In the list of top 100 airlines of 2017, according to Skytrax, Jetstar Airways came in at #44.


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