UK Budget Airlines Flying High

Soon-to-be merged UK budget airlines, Go and easyJet, have both reported impressive increases in passenger numbers for May. Their success is further evidence of the continuing growth in Europe`s no-frills sector on short haul routes, mostly at the expense of major carriers.

Yesterday, the established Irish low fare airline Ryanair reported record profits and predicted its traffic would get substantially bigger over the next two years.

EasyJet carried 43 percent more passengers than in May last year while Go, the former British Airways subsidiary which was sold off to a management buy-out by the national flag carrier, saw traffic rocket by 89 percent, year on year.

With the Go operation taking off the marriage with easyJet, expected to happen later this year, will offer a serious challenge to Ryanair`s position as Europe`s biggest no-frills airline.

Both Ryanair and easyJet have their sights fixed on the German low cost market. Ryanair has established a base at Frankfurt Hahn to challenge national carrier Lufthansa, while easyJet has recently taken an option to buy British Airways German operation, Deutsche BA.