While French Blue, the long-haul low-cost subsidiary of Air Caraibes, has just opened its booking to Punta Cana, the issue of the replicability of the low-cost model for long-haul flights arises.
This article (in French - "Le low cost long-courrier est-il vraiment low cost ?") offers some insights on the specific challenges of low cost operations on long-haul routes. We show that the low-cost principles are hard to replicate on long-haul destinations and that airlines can reduce their costs up to 15-20% (while low-cost carriers have a 40% cost advantage on short-haul routes).
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