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A hybrid airline is an unofficial term for an airline that operates with a low-cost business model but has a standard of service that is similar to what you would expect from standard and legacy carriers.
Hybrid airlines put emphasis on great service — often with tier-priced cabin classes and a number of different amenities — while keeping prices competitive within the market.
The term 'hybrid airline' is fairly new in aviation and is most commonly used to separate low-cost carriers with a low standard of service (ultra-low-cost carriers) from low-cost-carriers that offer a better standard of service (hybrid airlines).
Use our search form at the top of the page to search for flights on hybrid airlines, we offer flights from over 650 airlines overall!
Take a look at some of the most popular hybrid carriers that have defined the term.
Regarded by many as the hybrid airline. JetBlue has a range of benefits and special services that you would not get with an ordinary low-cost-carrier.
Most notably, JetBlue offers free Wi-Fi, more legroom in coach than any other US airline (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch), free snacks and drinks, as well an inflight entertainment system provided by DIRECTV.
Thanks to its very fairly priced long-haul prices, Norwegian has established itself as one of the flagship hybrid airlines.
Norwegian has a range of great ameneties, such as free Wi-Fi and an award-winning entertainment system. Norwegian also offers a Premium Cabin class, which gives passengers the opportunity to upgrade their flight experience further for an additional cost.
Southwest Airlines is considered as a hybrid airline by many thanks to its 'Business Select' fares. Southwest Business Select is essentially a budget version of what you'd expect from Business Class on a standard airline. Admittedly, the service you receive on Southwest's Business Select is not comparable to Business Class on standard and legacy carriers. However, it's a fraction of the price and is not something that most LCC offer.
Germanwings tier-priced cabin classes define it as a hybrid carrier. The airline gives you the choice of four different fares which ranges from a basic-budget fare (comparable to what you'd expect from a traditional low-cost airline) or pay a little extra for more comfort and better service.
With its slogan 'more than just a flight', Bamboo Airways put emphasis on offering a high-standard of service while keeping cost at a minimum.
The level of service does depend on which fare you purchase. However, even the airline's most basic fare 'Bamboo Eco' is of a fairly good standard for its price
While 'hybrid airline' isn't an official term, here are some other airlines that are widely considered hybrid airlines, or have similar service and features to a hybrid airline:
To put it simply, hybrid airlines are carriers that operate with a low-cost business model but put an emphasis on offering a high standard of service. A true hybrid airline will offer services similar or equivalent to a standard or legacy airline, while keeping prices competetive to low-cost carriers.
As the term 'hybrid airline' is an unofficial term, technically, hybrid airlines are low-cost carriers. However, hybrid airlines offer a better standard of service compared to other low-cost carriers.
You can buy a flight on a hybrid airline here at Alternative Airlines. With over 650 different airlines offered overall, Alternative Airlines sell flights from every major hybrid airline, as well some more niche hybrid airlines that you may have not come across before.
It depends what you're comparing it to. Flights from hybrid airlines are often cheaper than those of standard and legacy carriers. On the flip side, compared to an ultra-low-cost airline, it will be more expensive. This is because ultra-low-cost carriers generally only offer the seat with little-to-no additional amenities and a low standard of service. However, generally speaking, hybrid airlines are considered to be fairly good value.