Known as the birthplace of Western culture, Europe has been home to Greek Antiquity, the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution throughout history. Travel search engines such as Omio have become increasingly important when it comes to finding affordable airlines and cheap flights for your travel needs. Omio finds you the cheapest flights to European destinations by comparing over 250 airlines. Flights from North America to Europe are mainly offered by the regular, flag-carrying airlines since budget airlines do not typically offer transatlantic flights. Flights from North America to Europe typically travel overnight, departing in the late afternoon or early evening and arriving at their destinations in the early morning after a travel flight time of approximately 7-9 hours. Most countries in Europe use the Euro for their currency; however, notable exceptions include the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Russia. The exchange rate is approximately 0.88 Euro per US dollar.
Airlines operating intercontinental flights from North America tend to arrive at destinations where major European flight hubs are located, such as London-Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt-Main and Amsterdam-Schiphol, rather than smaller regional airports. This means travelers may have to take a connecting flight to their final destination. Popular intercontinental flights include New York to London, New York to Paris, Los Angeles to London and Boston to London.
For many people, taking a flight is currently a preferred method of transportation when it comes to European travel, particularly on journeys between distant destinations or different countries. This isn't just because flying is usually the quickest travel option, but also because flights have become increasingly affordable in the past decade. While the airline travel market has been traditionally dominated by national flag-carrying premium airlines with flying reserved for the affluent, the emergence of cheap flights offered by budget airlines has revolutionized air travel in Europe. While the deregulation of airline carriers has resulted in a profusion of cheap airlines in Europe, airfare can still be broadly placed in one of two main travel categories - budget or traditional.
On a typical day, more than 30,000 commercial flights pass through European airspace either departing from or arriving at a European destination. While a portion of these will be intercontinental flights, the vast majority of these are airlines operating routes within Europe. As a compact continent with many countries located in close proximity to each other, Europe is highly connected by an abundance of relatively cheap flights between a variety of destinations. There are many airports in Europe, with the top 25 all processing more than 20 million passengers every year.
The most popular continental flights within Europe utilize Barcelona-El Prat, Paris-Orly, Berlin-Tegel and London-Heathrow airports. Journeying by discount airline continues to be a viable transportation option, especially since domestic flight connections usually involve a shorter transit time than choosing to travel via bus or train. The most travelled domestic flight route - from Madrid to Barcelona - had more than 3 million passengers in 2011. Key airlines operating these routes include Vueling, Eurowings, Lufthansa, Norwegian Air and easyJet. People in Europe fly to other European destinations for many different reasons, with flights to both business centres and holiday destinations featuring prominently.
Of the more than 230 million travelers that fly in Europe each year, roughly 30% of them fly with cheap, discount airlines such as EasyJet or Ryanair for their travel needs. Since the deregulation of the airline marketplace in 1997, the rapid growth of discount airlines and availability of cheap flights has driven down the prices of traditional airlines while simultaneously increasing the number of travelers who choose to travel by plane to their final destinations. These airlines manage to offer cheap flights through a number of practices which help to keep travel prices low, such as only flying to destination airports with low landing costs and having a rapid turnaround while on the ground.
Even though the national flag-carrying airline is no longer the sole option when it comes to booking flights, they still account for the majority of European flights. Such flights often include no additional charges on checked luggage and complimentary refreshments once on board.
With more than 70 million passengers passing through its gates each year, London-Heathrow is the busiest airport in Europe and reflects London's status as the world's most visited destination city by international travelers. Additionally, London-Gatwick is also in the top 10 in terms of airport passenger volume. Other significant flight hubs for airlines on the European flight network include Paris, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Amsterdam, Madrid and Rome. Some of these airports offer upwards of 200 travel destinations around the entire world.