When you consider the disruptive changes that have revolutionized industries in the last 30-40 years it’s hard to think of many that have had more impact than the low-cost business model has to the airline industry. Today, low-cost airlines account for 36% of the overall aviation market in Europe. However, the perception of people flying with low-cost airlines as being low-cost consumers persists. So it comes as no surprise that many marketers are missing out on driving greater return on investment by overlooking this valuable audience.

The Savvy Low-Cost Traveller

The notion that low-cost passengers are from lower income status couldn’t be further from reality. You don’t have to take my word for it – during the summer the Prime Minister David Cameron was filmed onboard an easyJet flight. During the same month, London Mayor Boris Johnson was also photographed flying with easyJet. While those two cases aren't reflective of the entire low-cost carrier audience narrative, they go some way to dispelling the idea that people travelling with low-cost airlines are merely from a low income status. 56% of European low-cost passengers earn over €48,000 p.a.1 In fact, this highlights the savviness of the modern traveller who is not bound by their income status when seeking value. These are consumers that seek out value and when they know they’ve found it - they buy it.

Aspirational Travellers

Low-cost airlines fly a range of different people, from young leisure travellers, student travellers, couples, families, to retired travellers - all with unique aspirations and purchasing habits flying across the world for a number of different reasons. So while price may be a key factor for flying with low-cost carriers, it doesn’t equate to their aspirations and spending habits. 30% of easyJet Traveller readers own a watch worth over €750.2 And intrinsic to the growth of the low-cost airline model is investment in new destinations, opening up previously unreachable locations which smart millennials can boast about visiting to their peers – locales which full-service carriers simply do not offer.

Untapped Low-Cost Business Traveller Market

Business travellers now have options at both ends of the scale. Cost-conscious business travellers are opting to fly with low-cost airlines due to the convenience and flexibility on offer. Indeed 30% of European low-cost business passengers do not book their flight till less than 7 days before flying1. Modern low-cost travellers are engaging with our travel media today and tomorrow. Discover our travel media solutions and start connecting with this influential audience as they sit back, relax and get away from the distractions of life.

Sources: 1 The Global Passenger Survey; 2 IPSOS European Affluent Survey 2015