Low-cost long-haul: Airlines reveal secrets to making it work

Viewed by many within the industry as unworkable and unprofitable, the concept of low fares for traditional long-haul flights had its critics before the idea got off the ground. But new technology and global events now make this a new operator revenue stream, Michael Doran finds out

New aircraft like the Airbus A321LR and the Boeing 737 MAX are changing how long-haul travel is delivered. However, they are also disrupting the market with low-cost airlines using single-aisle economics and agility to mix and match aircraft as demand fluctuates.

The first Jetstar A321LR starts its delivery flight to Australia
The first Jetstar A321LR starts its delivery flight to Australia Airbus

The future of low-fare long-haul travel is looking rosy as customers recoil in horror at exorbitant fares, particularly on international long-haul flights. To find out what’s driving change, Air International took a look at the aircraft and the airlines that are disrupting the status quo. The low-fare long-haul sector is changing, with most of that change coming from higher airfares across all markets and the arrival of new-generation aircraft that are changing the economic models.

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