A video from Wendover Productions explains how flights from budget airlines can afford to be so cheap.
The video primarily focuses on European airlines but the video shows the break down of what’s saving you (and them) money.
To begin, budget airlines wait for drops in air travel to take advantage of bulk discounts on planes. After 9/11, Ryanair purchased 151 planes from Boeing at an unusually low price while other airlines were struggling to stay open.
Discount airlines also tend to have the newest models on the market. While it may seem expensive to buy newer planes more frequently than a competitor, newer planes are more fuel efficient, saving the budget airlines a bundle in the long run.
Smaller airlines also save money by having just one type of aircraft. With only one model to work with the equipment and employees are standardized, making everything more efficient.
Employees also serve multiple purposes. For example, many times flight attendants will also be the ones to check passengers boarding passes rather than having additional employees. This saves the airline from having to pay extra salaries.
However, besides time spent in the boarding area or on a flight, budget airline flyers will rarely see employees elsewhere. Many budget airlines have automated their systems, such as automated check-ins, in order to cut back on salaries as well.