A low cost airline, known as pricefighter, lowfare-, lowcost-, no-frills-, budget, low-budget, no-nonsense- called discount or society, is an airline which operates according to the no frills concept, whereby overheads are kept low and additional services are not included in the price. These carriers sometimes fly from a smaller airport in connection with lower airport and handling charges. Examples of low-fare carriers in Europe, Ryanair and EasyJet.

A low-cost airline is sometimes a subsidiary of one of the larger airlines. These subsidiaries are newly created or transformed from a feeder model to a low-fare model in order to maintain market share compared to the low-fare airlines. In many cases, the feeder function remains present. To be able to fly at a lower price, many services are not included in the price with low-cost airlines, such as luggage transport and drinks and food on board. These services allow the passenger to advance to the (electronic) ticket buy or purchase on board.
The principle of low cost airlines originates from the USA and started from there Southwest Airlines in 1971. The first European airline this category was Laker Airways, offering intercontinental flights, so but failed. 1978 Airline Deregulation Act was passed in the United States. As a result, low cost airline companies were encouraged, as they could introduce, among other things, more favorable rates, but also the corporate concentration and the longer-term rates increased. [1]

Ryanair took over the model in 1991 and expanded in Europe since 1995. Flew in 1994 only about three million passengers with low cost airlines, most with Ryanair, it already in 1999 about 17.5 million. 1995 British Airways decided to create its own low-cost division named Go, the operation from the airport London Stansted recorded in 1998. In the same year easyJet from London Luton took the flight operations. KLM followed the example of British Airways in 2000, founded by the low cost airline Buzz. In Europe, easyJet and Ryanair are among the most successful low-cost airlines as a result of the deregulation of the air traffic they could increase their passenger numbers enormous. Ever since Ryanair in February 2002 100 kilometers from Frankfurt away with Frankfurt-Hahn opened a base and 2002 [2] with German and Hapag-Lloyd Express (now TUIfly) two German low cost airlines have started from Cologne / Bonn Airport in autumn, are booming the budget airlines in Germany. Every fifth flight is conducted in Germany by a low cost airline. Thus the share of low cost airlines has quadrupled in the number of flights in Germany in the last six years. Environmental organizations have criticized this development.