10 Cheapest Airlines in Europe for 2024: Best Low-Cost Carriers

by Sam
10 of the cheapest airlines in Europe

If you’re anything like me, there’s nothing quite like the excitement of finding a great deal on a flight and jetting off to your dream European destination.

With an estimated 190+ airlines in Europe, finding a cheap airline to suit your budget can be difficult, especially finding one that best suits your travel plans.

Why should you use cheap airlines in Europe?

Cheap airlines give you the freedom to explore Europe at a low cost. Whether you want to jet off to the sunny Adriatic coast of Dubrovnik or hike around the mountains of Switzerland, the possibility of flying on a low budget frees up your budget and can be allocated more to your travels.

Are cheaper airlines safe to use?

Yes, of course. Every airline is required to have the same safety standards to operate.

More expensive airlines may have other amenities, including free extra legroom, better in-flight entertainment, fine dining and many more. However, the safety measures always need to remain the same.

How do I find the cheapest airlines?

There are plenty of little tricks for surfing the internet to find the cheapest flights. Many tools, like Skyscanner and Google Flights, can scour the flight database to find the cheapest European flights in the current market.

Skyscanner lets you filter your search for flights over the entire month, providing the cheapest options suited to your availability.

I found a brilliant deal for a £14 return from the UK to Paris in late May. I highly recommend you browse around and see what you can find.

Are you looking for the cheapest airlines in Europe? Well, without further ado, here are the top 10 cheapest you need to be aware of for 2024.

List of the Cheapest Airlines in Europe

Cheapest airlines in Europe

1. Ryanair

Yes, Ryanair. If you’ve ever travelled across Europe, you may have seen this airline and been left with so many burning questions, ‘Why are they so cheap?’ and ‘Who is Ryan?’

Ryanair is one of the cheapest airlines in Europe and has one of the biggest extensive networks of flights, connecting to many major European cities. The downside is that it often only operates in secondary airports to save costs on landing fees or operational costs.

However, this won’t leave you stranded in the desert. Rather, it will mostly only operate in airports outside the city centre. This is not an issue for cost; it just depends on how flexible you can be.

On-board service on a RyanAir Flight

This little Irish charmer is famous for its low-cost model. They charge less for flights but then offer you the option to add amenities at an extra cost. And yes, this may bunk your expenses a little. 

However, the flights are so incredibly cheap that you won’t mind spending that little extra, so you can do the basic things, like take your clothes on holiday with you.

When using RyanAir, I’ve never had the luxury service or a meet and greet with the pilot. However, I’ve enjoyed significant savings and had much better holidays for doing so.

Ryanair flight in mid-air

2. EasyJet 

Perhaps one of the most popular airlines from the UK, EasyJet offers various affordable flights to fly around Europe. Its expansive network across Europe serves over 150 airports in 30 countries.

With its lower-cost flight model, you must pay extra for add-ons, like leg room or storage space, while flying. However, one standout benefit of Easyjet over most budget carriers is its customer service. 

The airline places a high priority on improving punctuality, efficiency, and overall passenger experience. For such a cheap price, I was incredibly impressed with the room and comfort I had with my seating chairs.

It is a brilliant choice for like-minded travellers looking to save a buck when exploring Europe. Whether you are jetting off to explore the city of Rome or gaze upon the northern lights of Norway, this airline is one of the best to get you where you need to be at a low cost.

EasyJet flying mid air

3. WizzAir

Ah, good old Wizz. Founded in Budapest, Hungary, this low-budget airline is one the cheapest airlines you’ll find in Europe. It serves over 54 countries, flying to over 194 airports.

This low-budget airline seriously does get a bad rap. Over the years, it has faced certain remarks likeYou even have to pay for oxygen on board and You must pay to receive your reservation’. These remarks are, of course, not true, but ones you come to expect against lower-budget airlines.

Yes, you will need to pay for bag luggage or to reserve your seats. However, it will be one of the cheapest flights you can find on the market and offer quality that is more than good enough to bring a book and enjoy your flight.

WizzAir seating space
WizzAir's seating space - This is the norm for budget-friendly carriers.

The best feature of WizzAir is its Wizz Discount Club. When purchasing a flight from London to Brasov, I was offered to sign up for their discount club, which could be used during my purchase. I knocked off £40 on the flight using WizzAir’s Discount Club membership, which cost £30, saving £10 overall on my flight purchase.

Now, as a member of its discount club, I can collect even more savings when using their flights for a whole year without spending a penny on the membership!

Moreover, one of the most significant differences WizzAir has over most low-budget European airlines is its options to fly outside of Europe. 

It can fly to various locations in Africa and Asia. Maybe you’re exploring the city of Rome and feel like taking a leisurely, sunny vacation in Marrakech. Well, WizzAir can provide that for you.


4. Jet2.com

Founded in Leeds, United Kingdom, this low-budget airline is frequently used to get some of the cheapest flights to more than 65 destinations across Europe.

The airline operates from several airports in the UK, including Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, and Birmingham, to ensure convenient flight travel to passengers in different parts of the UK. 

Fun fact: It recently overtook Tui as the larger tour operator in the UK.

Although it does have a long-standing relationship with operating from UK airports, it does operate in many international destinations within Europe.

With its low-cost model, you will need to purchase extra amenities. However, what sets Jet2.com apart is its primary focus on customer service.

Jet2.com was recently named the ‘Best in Transport’ on the UK Customer Satisfaction Index for 2023. Whenever I used Jet2, I found the staff very welcoming. You can sense they put a huge priority on looking after their passengers. It is, all in all, a brilliant low-budget airline to use.

Flying with Jet2

5. Eurowings

Founded in Dortmund, Germany, Eurowings is one of the biggest low-cost airlines in Europe. 

A huge stand-out point of Eurowings is its extensive flight network. It currently flies to over 210 destinations worldwide, making it a popular option for budget-friendly travellers looking to explore the globe.

Like most low-budget airlines, Eurowings allows you to tailor your flight experience to your specific preferences and budget. You will start at a base fee, which covers the ticket price, and then you can opt for extra amenities, like extra luggage space, for an increased cost.

The airline is always looking to expand its network and is starting to introduce more flights to Asia and Africa. 

Also, as part of the Lufthansa Group, it has convenient connections for those using Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines, making it easier for passengers during connecting flights.

Flying with Eurowings

6. Norwegian Air Shuttle

Previously only operating in Norway, this budget-friendly carrier has become one of Europe’s biggest and most popular low-budget airlines.

What makes the airline stand out is its in-flight services. It offers specific amenities most low-budget airlines don’t provide. You can purchase onboard Wi-Fi and pre-book meal options on their website.

Norwegian Airlines focus on delivering an exceptional travel experience at an affordable cost, recently earning a Freddie award for the ‘Best customer service on European flights in 2023’.

Note: Due to budget cuts, Norwegian Air Shuttle stopped long-haul flights to other continents. However, they still operate within Europe at a very low price.

Flying with Norwegian Air Shuttle

7. Vueling

This Spanish budget airline is one of the best for cheap flight tickets around Europe. It also flies internationally, including some destinations around Africa and Asia.

Its punctuality and customer service is its standout point from most major low-budget airlines. It puts a huge emphasis on ensuring flight delays are kept at a minimum.

Like most low-budget carriers, you can improve your experience by purchasing onboard snacks and drinks alongside any additional amenities like extra baggage allowance and priority boarding.

Vueling offers an excellent and cost-effective way of travelling through its Vueling Club program. Travellers can earn Avios points with every flight ticket purchase. 

This program is beneficial if you’re a frequent traveller, as you can save costs on your flights by using the Avios points you accumulate.


8. Transavia

Founded in the Netherlands, the Transavia airline has grown astronomically in recent years and has become one of the biggest low-cost airlines in Europe. Its network also includes various destinations around Africa and Asia.

When travelling with the airline, expect to pay for additional amenities such as luggage storage and seat reservation. However, these extras come at a relatively low cost.

Transavia also has its loyalty program, ‘Flying Blue.’ The program enables passengers to accumulate and redeem miles for their future flights. 

Members can also earn miles from Air France, KLM, Aircalin, and many other partners. It is a brilliant way to save money if you travel frequently and look to use these airlines.

Transavia flight landing.

9. AirBaltic

This Latvian airline is a leading carrier in the Baltic region and offers low-cost flights to over 70 destinations in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

It offers plenty of routes within Europe, primarily focusing on connecting other European countries with those in the Baltic region.

As it is a lower-budget airline, you can expect reduced amenities with a basic ticket. However, you can upgrade for an extra cost.

AirBaltic has a loyalty program called airBaltic Club. Passengers can earn points for each flight they take, which can later be redeemed for future flights. 

What else? This program partners with other airlines like KLM and Air France. So, when you accumulate points, you can redeem your points with these partner airlines. Even more savings!


10. Pegasus Airlines

Are you looking for a cheap airline in Europe? Headquartered in Istanbul, Turkey, Pegasus Airlines is one of the most affordable in Europe, offering an extensive network spanning over 26 European countries. 

If you want to go further afield, its network is open to over 23 African and Asian countries.

Like most low-budget airlines, Pegasus has a pay-as-you-go system, where you can purchase extras, like food and drink, while on board, with options to pay for extra luggage.

It is also an incredibly cheap option to fly around Turkey and provides airline travel to over 45 different areas in the country.

Pegasus Airlines

More frequently asked questions for the cheapest airlines in Europe.

What are the top 5 cheapest airlines in Europe

  1. RyanAir – Convenient and cheap. This is all that is required from a low-budget airline. I’ve saved a lot of money utilising their low-budget model instead of settling for flights used on package holidays.
  2. Easy Jet – This airline is a brilliant choice. They do provide great customer service. However they don’t offer as many low-cost flights as RyanAir.
  3. Wizz Air – This is Europe’s hidden gem. It always gets bad customer reviews for its amenities but offers what you expect from a low-cost airline. They also offer brilliant discount schemes. I recently used them on my trip from London to Brasov and never had an issue with customer service, for which many say they are terrible for.  
  4. Vueling – I’ve never had a bad experience. They prioritise reducing delays, even if it is out of their control. I would use this airline if I found a cheaper flight.
  5. Jet2 – More expensive than RyanAir. They prioritise customer service, and you are always welcome with a smile. They are also a sister company to Jet2holidays, which offers cheap holiday packages.

What is the cheapest budget airline in Europe?

From this list, outweighing all the pros and cons, RyanAir is undoubtedly the cheapest in Europe. They offer the best deals for the most affordable travel all across Europe on a more frequent basis. It seems like it’s Black Friday every day with RyanAir.

Keeping that in mind, you can sometimes find better deals from any other low-budget airline. If RyanAir doesn’t have what you need to suit your budget, check out the alternatives.

ryanair airplane

Final thoughts on the cheapest airlines in Europe

So many European airlines offer budget-friendly options for travellers exploring Europe without breaking the bank.

While airlines like Ryanair, EasyJet, and WizzAir may not always offer the most convenient flight times or the most luxurious amenities for a more comfortable flight experience, they do provide great deals on flights, which is all you need for a more affordable European holiday!

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Claudia Goswitz 1 May 2024 - 09:21

Great post!

Sam 12 May 2024 - 12:29

Thank you!


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