Certainly in Asia, for Air Asia (& X), they have eaten away MH’s domestic network in a big way. They have also taken much business from TG, & intra Asia routes they have brought down prices for those that would not have had the opportunity to travel before.
In Australia, where the domestic market especially was a Monopoly with some flights costing the same as a flight to another country, both VirginBlue, & Jetstar have created inroads into the market like never before. Prices have come down to 1/3rd, but they have the buyable extras, such as lounges, spacious seats, decent luggage allowances.
Interestingly, the low cost carriers are the ones with the new modern Aircraft, they are not running old planes as they used to. Some Established full service Airlines have become shabby & worn, MH, SQ, TG recent trips all look faded & jaded. Technology & new planes appeal to flyers.
The world order has clearly changed, with China, India, & some Asian Countries having a growing Middle Class population, able to afford, & have the inspiration to travel. The £ is at one of the poorest values abroad, & the Euro declining, which bumps up the value of the other currencies, making travel more affordable for them, more expensive from here in Europe.
Technology, larger more economical aircraft, larger & more regional airports, but increased security & time at airports have made short haul travel a bind. Business class inter-Europe is dying off, a few hrs, with the essentials available at the airport rather than on board, make a Business ticket at 6 times the price irrational almost.
The model of even the EU full service Airlines now is flexibility of ticket, laced up as economy premium.
Still i gain the benefits from my Gold cards with KLM /AF, Etihad & Virgin Group, the latter giving me lounge access, upgrades & Miles on their Australia low cost flights & perks anyhow, as well as worldwide.
The price of a LHR -AMS on KLM remains around £87, with low cost little different with all the add-ons.
For me, with the rising costs of Medium / long haul travel, the real interesting development is the premium economy, & the low cost versions (Such as AirAsiaX STN-KUL, New flat business seat), priced at 1/3rd- 50% of other Airlines. Interestingly a “lower cost / PE is being developed by MH, CX.
First Class with flat beds established in Business Cabins, is also in decline in all regions, amongst many Airlines.
In Europe the Low costs have become greedy & I agree there is little difference in price all in. But in Asia, they have mass populations, & an abundance of new customers, & in Australia, they have truly liberated the domestic travel market, & are starting to do the same for some International routes.
Population numbers, the changing world order, the currency values, ease of Visas, the world has become a smaller place, & the norm of travel country to country is taken as accessible to more. Indeed, it is seen as an intrinsic to peoples value systems, to be able to travel.
A Very broad & interesting topic…