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European Express

How to navigate the new slew of low-cost flights between European cities

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This story appears in the June 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

With low-cost airlines sprouting like mushrooms across Europe, taking the plane instead of the train between cities is de rigueur among the business-travel set. Here's the scoop:

  • The two largest low-cost European carriers are EasyJet (United Kingdom) and Ryanair (Ireland and UK). Among the many others are Air Berlin and Germanwings in Germany, Virgin Express in Belgium, Transavia in the Netherlands, Snowflake in Scandinavia and SkyEurope for much of Eastern Europe. With a dizzying selection of new carriers, Applefares.com and Openjet.com can help you make the right choice.
  • It's not uncommon to find one-way fares as low as $25 for flights from the UK to the continent. But fare sales are only for short periods of time and tend to have certain catches, such as cheap one-way outbound fares, but higher prices for return flights. Also, you'll pay hefty taxes--even on bargain fares.

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