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LCCs Market in the U.S. - statistics & facts

Over the last decade, the growth of the low-cost carrier (LCC) segment has been a fundamental development in the aviation industry. The low-cost business model, based on high seating density and aircraft utilization at low fares, has triggered key changes in the vigorously competitive industry. With both short- and long-haul flights, LCCs are the driving force in the passenger air transportation business. According to Airbus Group, the global market share of low-cost carriers is expected to grow to 21 percent in 2034.

In the United States, LCCs hold above 30 percent of the domestic market. Overall, Southwest was ranked second among the leading airlines in the U.S., with a market share of 16.5 in 2020, just behind legacy carriers Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. With flights to 101 destinations, Southwest transported 134 million passengers on over 131 billion revenue passenger-miles, had a capacity of around 157.25 billion available seat miles (ASMs) and reported net income of 2.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. JetBlue Airways was ranked sixth, with a domestic market share of 5.4 percent and operating revenue streams of over eight billion U.S. dollars in 2019.

Of particular interest is the emergence of the ultra-low cost carriers (ULLCs), like Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines or Allegiant Air in the U.S. domestic market, all of which are benefiting from the low jet fuel prices. Based on its ultra-low cost business model, Spirit Airlines provides unbundled base fares with the option of booking other ancillary air-related products. They currently serve 76 destinations in the United States, Caribbean and Latin America. The company reported operating revenue streams of over 3.8 billion U.S. dollars from transporting passengers on over more than 35 billion revenue-passenger miles in 2019.

Interesting statistics

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Low-cost carrier market in the United States

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Low-cost airlines

Ultra low-cost airlines

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