Biggest low cost carriers worldwide by revenue 2018

U.S.-based Southwest Airlines generated significantly more revenue than any other low-cost carrier in 2018, amounting to 22 billion U.S. dollars. The next-largest was Irish airline, Ryanair, with an estimated revenue of 9.3 billion U.S. dollars.

Low-cost carriers

Low-cost carriers have been rapidly increasing their share of the global airline industry in recent years, reaching 31 percent in 2018. While the largest low-cost carriers in terms of revenue are predominantly North American and European, the Asia Pacific region is home to the biggest fleet of aircraft operated by low-cost carriers.

Revenue versus passenger traffic

The largest low-cost airlines in terms of revenue are not necessarily the largest in terms of passenger traffic. While Southwest, Ryanair and EasyJet are the three largest on all measures, Asian low-cost carriers such as IndiGo, AirAsia and Lion perform better in terms of passenger traffic and seat capacity than their revenue streams would suggest. This is likely a combination of the lower overall price levels in the region, coupled with its high population. Accordingly, the two fastest growing low-cost carriers in terms of available seats are located in the region.

Leading low cost airlines worldwide in 2018, based on revenue

Exclusive Premium statistic

You need a Single Account for unlimited access.

  • Full access to 1m statistics

  • Incl. source references

  • Available to download in PNG, PDF, XLS format

Single Account

only $59 / month *
*Duration: 12 months, billed annually, single license

Access to this and all other statistics on 80,000 topics from

$708 / Year

Show detailed source information?
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in

Release date




Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Full-year estimates used based on nine-month data.

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.
This statistic is not included in your account.

Single Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references
$59 / Month *
Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract; Prices do not include sales tax.

Statistics on "Low-cost carrier market worldwide"

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.