ASIA dominates the world’s cheapest airlines list, but the other results may surprise you.
Booking engine and travel planning platform Rome2Rio has released a report detailing the cheapest 200 commercial airlines in the world.
You’d think it would be difficult to find out which operator is the cheapest since airlines don’t all share the same routes on the same days. But Rome2Rio’s expert team of data scientists analyzed economy-class airfares sold on the site over a two-month period to get the definitive answer.
Drum roll, please.
AirAsia X was declared the cheapest airline in the world for economy class tickets based on price per kilometre in US dollars. According to the survey, the carrier’s international flights cost US$0.07 per kilometre – cheaper than driving.
Trailing closely behind AirAsia X is Air India Express, Indonesia AirAsia, Primera Air (Iceland), and IndiGo. Further down the list at number 18 is AirAsia Philippines, meaning AirAsia brands dominate the top 20.
This, however, may not come as a surprise to those who have flown with any of the AirAsia brands before. The airline is constantly offering travel promotions, including the latest Free Seats deal where flyers only have to pay airport taxes.
The surprising results
However, there were a few unexpected results in the top 25 cheapest airlines, including higher-end airlines such as Etihad, Qatar Air, and Emirates.
“Although Qantas ranks highly for value, we are often seeing travelers from the UK to Asia and Australia booking with carriers such as Etihad, Royal Brunei Airlines, China Southern and Emirates,” Rome2Rio chief operating officer Kirsteene Phelan told the Telegraph.
Rome2Rio found Etihad’s economy tickets to be the fifth cheapest in the world at US$0.10 per kilometre. Etihad Airways’ first class service couldn’t look more different though. The airline boasts the world’s only three-room suites on board a commercial airline.
Travelers flying from Abu Dhabi to New York, London, Melbourne, Sydney, and Paris can enjoy a living room, bedroom, en-suite shower and a personal Savoy-trained butler for the cool price of US$17,000.
The report revealed “minor shifts” in pricing and ranking for airlines since the last gathered information in 2016.
“In general, the low end of both the international and domestic rankings have shifted up in cost per km,” the report stated. “With reports of flight prices headed upwards, largely due to increased fuel costs, this may, unfortunately, be a trend that continues.”
As aviation proceeds to push boundaries in the sky, flyers can only anticipate how airlines will keep costs down and improve economy comfort.
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister website Travel Wire Asia.