Volotea Revolutionising the Low-Cost Airline Model

Spanish budget airline Volotea has flipped the low-cost model on its head, using older and leased aircraft, retaining traditional sales methods and flying to places its competitors have ignored. This approach has led to profits and expansion, as Lee Cross reports.

Volotea serves airports in 13 countries across Europe. Its name was inspired by ‘volotear’, a word coined by poet Pablo Neruda as a simplified form of the Spanish verb ‘revolotear’, meaning to swirl around.
AirTeamImages.com/Simone Ciaralli

In 2002, businessman Carlos Muñoz saw a gap in the market in southwest Europe to establish a low-cost airline to rival the growing presence of Ryanair and easyJet. With help from business partner Lázaro Ros, the pair created Vueling, which took to the skies in July 2004.

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