5 new airlines to watch for cheap flights

If you’re American, chances are you rarely fly an unknown carrier; it’s been decades since American travelers have seen a new airline emerge. The Big Three (American, Delta and United) have had little competition since Southwest and JetBlue entered the scene in the 60s and 90s, respectively. But that could finally change.

Editor’s note: Primera Air announced on October 1, 2018 that it would cease operations immediately and has therefore been removed from this story.

New airlines to watch

With the launch of a new low-cost American carrier and the expansion of European start-ups into the United States, many more cheap flights around the world are on the horizon. Here are the new airlines to watch.


Loyal JetBlue travelers will be happy to hear that the buzz around a new airline by the low-cost carrier’s founder, David Neeleman, seems to be coming to fruition. Neeleman recently announcement the interim purchase of 60 Airbus A220-300 jets for the company, which he calls “Moxy”. The name of the new airline is subject to change, but what is clear is that Neeleman wants to stay true to JetBlue’s low-cost, high-comfort philosophy, this time for secondary airports outside of airline hubs. urban.

“The A220 will allow us to fly thinner routes in comfort without compromising cost, especially on longer range missions,” Neeleman told investors. But not so fast: Moxy should not fly before 2021.

Air Italy

Backed by Qatar Airways and born out of a small Italian carrier formerly called Meridiana, Air Italy is seeking to capitalize on the shortcomings of Alitalia, the financially troubled Italian flag carrier. Air Italy flights to Italy and beyond (including Brazil, Spain and Israel) started from New York’s JFK airport, Miami and the airline’s hub in Milan in early 2018. These routes appear to be just the beginning: the new airline is expected to more than double its fleet by 2022.

French bee

A new airline concept outside France, French bee presents itself as the first low-cost and long-haul airline only. The focus is on connecting France to distant cities like San Francisco, which is currently the only US route. Punta Cana, Tahiti and Reunion are also on the menu of the new airline for French travellers. If that million-dollar idea pays off, prepare to see French bee’s blue planes at more airports and discover low-cost long-haul options that will get you further for less.


Owned by IAG (British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus) and based in Barcelona, ​​the low-cost airline LEVEL began operations in 2017. So far it has been successful with its routes to Martinique, Punta Cana, Buenos Aires , Montreal and Paris via Boston, New York. , Los Angeles and Oakland. However, its recent airport collapse, which stranded travelers in Montreal, indicates that management still needs to sort out some loose ends. LEVEL’s new mission is to expand offerings from its Vienna hub, starting with short-haul European flights that could eventually expand to the United States.

Global airlines

A rare American startup aiming to launch a new major airline, an attempted venture called Global airlines resurfaced in 2017 when new investors bought the “intellectual property” of a small carrier of the same name that went bankrupt in 2014. World Airways has been somewhat vague about its plans. Some statements seem to indicate a focus on long-haul routes with 787s, while others seem to say the line will copy Norwegian with transatlantic flights from New York’s Stewart International Airport. Some experts seem intrigued, while others seem to give it little chance to take off.

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Ed Perkins of SmarterTravel also contributed to this story.

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