No-frills carriers have undoubtedly revolutionised the way the short-haul airline market operates. The most marked effect has perhaps been in relation to the availability of low and unrestricted fares, and the considerable increase in the choice of destinations and airports available to passengers.
No-frills carriers have brought a very different philosophy and business model into the European airline sector that has forced existing airlines to change their own business and offering in response.
However, in relation to their impact on aggregate traffic growth, and the profile of the flying public, the effect appears to be more evolutionary, with growth rates staying at broadly similar levels to those achieved before the advent of no-frills carriers, and the passenger mix remaining broadly constant over time.
Acknowledgements The CAA would like to thank all those who contributed to the discussions that helped inform the development of this study.