Flying high: One Canadian airline makes list of world’s best budget airlines

While low-cost airlines may be known for delays, tight seats, and lacklustre service, some are worth your money in Canada, and Air Canada Rouge might be your best bet. recognized the world’s 25 best low-cost airlines for 2024, with Air Canada Rouge being the only Canadian one on the list.

Editors from used 12 criteria, including passenger reviews, fleet age, and safety ratings, to determine which airlines were the best.

European airlines were high performers, as nine budget carriers, including Air Baltic, EasyJet, and Ryanair, made the list. Jetblue and Southwest were the two US airlines recognized.

The Air Canada subsidiary serves several Caribbean, Mexico, and US leisure travel destinations.

While Air Canada Rouge may be making an impression on the world stage, Canada’s low-cost airline market has had a bumpy road.

Budget airline Swoop ended operations in October 2023. Just months later, in February 2024, Calgary-based Lynx Air announced it was shutting down.

Flair Airlines has also been embroiled in recent financial problems, including owing $67.2 million to the Canada Revenue Agency over taxes on planes it purchased and a $25 million legal fight with a financial services company, which was later withdrawn.

However, Flair’s CEO has refuted any rumours that the airline faced uncertainty.

“Our role in the industry is important. We’re genuinely stimulating traffic,” Jones told Daily Hive in a previous interview.

“Even if you don’t like Flair and don’t fly with Flair, be thankful we’re here because of the impact we have on the industry… The fact that we go into a market reduces prices for everyone.”

Earlier this month, WestJet also announced it would be rolling out a low-cost option for light packers — one that doesn’t include a carry-on bag.

Here are the 25 best low-cost airlines in the world in alphabetical order.

  • AirAsia Group
  • Air Baltic
  • Air Canada Rouge
  • Cebu Pacific
  • easyJet
  • Eurowings
  • FlyDubai
  • FlyNAS
  • GOL
  • Jetblue
  • Jet2
  • Jetstar Group
  • Jeju Air
  • Norwegian
  • Peach
  • Ryanair
  • Scoot
  • Spicejet
  • Suncountry
  • Southwest
  • Transavia
  • Vietjet
  • Volotea
  • Vueling
  • WizzAir

Regional winners include the following:

  • Americas – Southwest
  • Middle East – FlyDubai
  • Asia – AirAsia Group
  • Australia/Pacific – Jetstar Group
  • Europe – easyJet

Have you flown with any of Canada’s low-cost carriers? What has your experience been like? Send us your nightmare travel stories (or recommendations!) at [email protected].

Or let us know in the comments below.

With files from Megan Devlin.