Andreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 33 Reply 2, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1605 times:
No charter has nothing to do with low-cost carriers, at least not in general (in Germany some of the charter carriers are currently going into the low-cost market, Hapag LLoyd for example).
Charter is, I believe (waiting for other info), a European specialty. They come from a tourism background, that is, their business was chartered by travelling agencies and those sold all-in holiday packages to the customers. Over the years that has changed: Some of the biggest travelling agencies now have their own aircraft fleet (Thomas Cook, TUI), and several of the old charter carriers increasingly sold seats on their flights on their own (that's how I ususally travel when going to the mediterranean sea): It's cheap (though NOT LOWCOST!!!), reliable, high frequency, and you can get tickets on very short notice. Several others, as said above, went into lowcost by carving out part of their fleet into new subsidiaries.
Airsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 36 Reply 3, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1564 times:
I respectfully disagree there (partly), Andreas:
Charter airlines have very much in common with low cost airlines. They are airlines which cater for the needs of similar customer groups, namely people on a low budget flying for pleasure. Their strategy is to give these people access to air travel by offering prices below the normal level. They do so by maintaining a quite low cost structure achieved by similar means as the low costs.
One could indeed call the charter airlines (which exist as a phenomenon since the late 60s) the forefathers and frontrunners of today´s low cost airlines. The latter of course refined the recipe be even more consequent cost cutting (hence attracting even more customer groups) and other destinations.
The boom of charter airlines came with the advent of two socio-economic phenomena in the 60s:
1) bigger airplanes (especially the invention of the widebody slightly later) created a greater supply of transportation capacity, making it effectively cheaper (basic laws of supply and demand)
2) people, especially in Germany and the UK, started travelling. After the war, there were several phases of very high demand for certain goods and services in Germany, labelled "waves": the eating wave, then the clothes and the furniture wave, and finally, in the 60s with their climax in the late 60s/early 70s, the travel wave. It ebbed with the mid/late 70s´ energy crises.