A Guide to Budget Airlines Around the World

Seats on a commercial airline

Patrick Foto/Getty Images

If you're a student or budget traveler, you'll no doubt end up taking your fair share of budget airlines. One of the best ways to find cheap flights is through your country's low-cost airlines. Usually, a simple search on Skyscanner or Adioso will bring up the cheapest flights to your destination, and these sites are especially helpful because you can browse by country instead of the city, and spread your proposed travel dates over a month, finding the cheapest days to fly.

Another great site for finding affordable airfare is Secret Flying. This website shares the cheapest deals from your region of the world, and updates multiple times a day. Keep your eye on Secret Flying, and have open travel dates.

Are There Any Alternatives?

Sometimes, no matter where you look, you just can't find the flight you want for the price you need. In this situation, start looking at budget airlines that may not be included in airfare aggregators like Skyscanner.

Refer to the following list to find cheap flights and see low-cost airline options for either your destination or arrival city. 

Departure of Air Algerie
Sygma via Getty Images / Getty Images


Below you can find our top recommendations for budget airlines in Africa, a place where travel is surprisingly expensive.


  • Air Algerie


  • TAAG


  • Air Botswana


  • Air Arabia Egypt


  • Antrak Air


  • ​Fly 540


  • Libyan Airlines


  • Malawian Airlines


  • ​Royal Air Maroc


  • LAM Mozambique


  • Air Namibia

South Africa​

  • ​Mango
  • Kulula


  • ​Fastjet


  • ​NouvelAir
9M-AHC Airbus A320-200 of Airasia
nuttapong / Getty Images


Here are all the low-cost airlines in Asia (Air Asia is our absolute favorite).


  • Golden Myanmar Airlines


  • Spring Airlines

Hong Kong

  • Hong Kong Express


  • GoAir
  • IndiGo
  • SpiceJet
  • Jet Konnect
  • Air India Express
  • AirAsia India


  • Lion Air
  • Citilink
  • Indonesia AirAsia
  • Tigerair Mandala


  • Air Do
  • Jetstar Japan
  • Peach
  • Skymark Airlines
  • Solaseed Air
  • StarFlyer
  • Vanilla Air

 Republic of Korea

  • AirAsia Korea 
  • Eastar Jet
  • Jeju Air
  • Jin Air


  • Lao Airlines


  • AirAsia
  • Firefly
  • Malindo Air


  • AirAsia Zest
  • Cebu Pacific
  • PAL Express
  • Tigerair Philippines


  • Jetstar Asia Airways
  • Tigerair
  • Scoot

 Sri Lanka

  • Mihin Lanka


  • Thai AirAsia
  • Thai Lion Air
  • Nok Air
  • Orient Thai Airlines
  • City Airways
  • Solar Air


  • VietJet Air


  • Pakistan International Airlines
easyJet at Gatwick Airport
Oli Scarff / Getty Images


There is no shortage of budget airlines in Europe, with practically every country having one. In most cases, flying in Europe is cheaper than taking the bus or train. Here's a comprehensive list of low-cost carriers in the region:

 Czech Republic

  • SmartWings


  • Transavia.com France


  • Germanwings


  • Wizz Air


  • Ryanair


  • Air One
  • Blue Panorama Airlines


  • Norwegian Air Shuttle


  • Blue Air


  • Volotea
  • Vueling

 United Kingdom

  • easyJet
  • Flybe
  • Jet2.com
flydubai at Dubai International Airport
Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

Middle East

Here are all the top budget airlines in the Middle East:


  • Jazeera Airways

 Saudi Arabia

  • Nas Air


  • Pegasus Airlines
  • SunExpress

 United Arab Emirates

  • Air Arabia
  • flydubai
Virgin America Aircraft
Smith Collection/Gado / Getty Images

North America

Now, a list of all the budget airlines in North America. There are plenty of ways to find affordable airfare in North America, but it's rarely as inexpensive as you'll find in Europe. 


  • Air Transat
  • Sunwing
  • WestJet


  • Interjet
  • VivaAerobus
  • Volaris

 United States

  • AirTran Airways
  • Allegiant Air
  • Frontier Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • Virgin America
Air New Zealand
GC Images / Getty Images


Oceania has a few budget airlines located in Australia and New Zealand, but if you're looking to travel to the South Pacific, you can expect to spend an awful lot on airfare.


  • Jetstar Airways
  • Rex
  • Tigerair Australia
  • Virgin Blue

New Zealand

  • Air2There
  • Air New Zealand

Central America and the Caribbean

Here are the budget airlines in Central America and the Caribbean.

Antigua & Barbuda

  • Liat Airlines
Brasilia International Airport
Flickr Vision / Getty Images

South America

South America can be tough to get around, so if you're planning on a big trip through the continent, you'll probably find yourself flying between destinations a few times. Here are all the low-cost carriers operating in South America.


  • Amaszonas
  • Ocean Air
  • Voe Gol


  • Azul Brazilian Airlines
  • Gol Transportes Aéreos


  • PAL Airlines
  • Sky Airline


  • EasyFly
  • VivaColombia


  • TAME


  • TAM Linha Aereas


  • Peruvian Airlines
  • Star Perú