Europe has had the most new airlines this year so far.
Every industry has a “start up” side of its culture, and the airline industry is no exception.
According to Airline Network News and Analysis, a new airline is born every 3.5 days.
Even with security concerns, geopolitical instability, and international issues — from electronics bans to Brexit — affecting air travel, now is actually a good time for new airlines thanks to favorable market conditions and low fuel costs.
Even though we’re not quite finished with 2017 yet, 79 new airlines have already taken off this year, according to data from ch-aviation, in Switzerland. Europe saw the most growth, with 29 new airlines (even as some carriers like Monarch Airlines and Air Berlin faced bankruptcy).
The U.K. and China were among the countries offering the most new options for travelers, with five new airlines each. There were also five new airlines in North America: three in the U.S. (Metropolitan Airways, Midwest Express Airlines, SkyValue Airways), and two in Canada (Air Borealis and Swoop).
Many of the newbies are offshoots of existing airlines — intended to lure new customers with ultra low-cost fares (along with fees) — or small regional carriers.
If you’re shopping for seats on a more local (and sometimes much cheaper) flight, check out what new airlines might service your destination.