AviationThe top three a la carte revenue earners in Asia are Air Asia, China Southern and Jetstar

How airlines are raiding your wallet (and purse)

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LCCs increasingly aim for business travellers, which is a core market for traditional airlines.
LCCs increasingly aim for business travellers, which is a core market for traditional airlines. Photo Credit: Volodymyr Kryshtal/GettyImages

DUBLIN - The clear lines which once separated traditional airlines and LCCs have become blurred, according to IdeaWorks, which has published its latest CarTrawler Global Statistics of a la Carte.

This is changing through the growing adoption of basic economy fares. Etihad Airways, which is routinely ranked among the world’s best for service, now generates a la carte revenue from standard seat assignments, first class lounge access, Wifi service and premium snack items in the economy cabin.– IdeaWorks

Asian earned at US$21.1 billion in ancillary revenue in 2019, second only to the US$31.5 billion earned by European carriers.

A la carte activities include fees paid for checked baggage, assigned seats, buy-on-board meals, early boarding, and onboard entertainment.

The top three a la carte revenue earners in Asia are Air Asia, China Southern and Jetstar,

IdeaWorks notes, “Traditional airlines built their brand on an all-inclusive service with economy fares that included a checked bag, pre-assigned seating, and the ability to make reservation changes.

“This is changing through the growing adoption of basic economy fares. Etihad Airways, which is routinely ranked among the world’s best for service, now generates a la carte revenue from standard seat assignments, first class lounge access, Wifi service and premium snack items in the economy cabin.

“Meanwhile, LCCs increasingly aim for business travellers, which is a core market for traditional airlines.”

IdeaWorks says the Asia/Pacific region is also bending towards the a la carte model. Cathay Pacific, Qantas, and Singapore now charge fees for advance seat assignments for consumers buying lower- priced fares.

Basic economy fares are now offered by these traditional airlines: China Eastern, Hong Kong Airlines, Malaysian Airlines (domestic routes), Philippine Airlines (domestic routes).

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