Low cost airlines starting to link continents...at the edges
Until now low cost carriers in Europe, unlike those in Asia, had been focusing on the European market.
The economics and operational requirements of long-haul flights are considerably different than those of short and medium haul flights, so it made sense for European airlines that had been conceived to operate flights within the relatively short distances of the European continent to stay that way.
You might say that some European routes operated by low cost carriers such as UK to Cyprus and Israel, Scandinavia to the Canary Islands or Barcelona to Moscow and Kazan step into the edges of long haul territory, but despite being long flight sectors, they can still be done with the same aircraft and crews deployed on other, shorter flights, and, in some cases, relatively small differences in time zones might help the airlines optimize the use of their current fleets.
So, while we await for a true major European low cost long haul carrier to emerge (Norwegian might have a good go at it if it manages to consolidate and scale up its Boeing 787 operations), some European low cost airlines that operate at the edges of the continent are using leveraging their geographical position to fly their narrow body aircraft into new and exotic (for a European lcc at least!) markets.
Right at the other extreme of what is traditionally considered "Europe", Icelandic low cost airline WOW is planning flights to the US.
And from the other side of the Atlantic, Canada's WestJet is launching a Boeing 737-700 service service between Newfoundland, on Canada's Eastern coast and Dublin, Ireland.
I found these low cost links at the edges of different continents quite interesting...Who might be next?