Designed by Cinzia Bongino
Budget airlines, no-frills flights, peanut fares are a few of the familiar names used to describe low-cost carriers. The Ryanair Group carried the most passengers in Europe in 2019 and 2020, some 30 years after the then obscure Irish company rebranded itself as ‘Europe’s first low-fares airline’. It pioneered an operational model oriented towards a singular goal of cheap flights, but many others have followed, including EasyJet and Wizz Air in Europe.
Operating on a business model that minimises operational costs, unbundles fares, reduces customer services and decentralises routes, budget airlines have not only shaped the world-wide aviation industry as we know it, but an entire travel culture. The European consciousness and landscape have been fundamentally transformed by minor local airports being plucked from obscurity and ‘abroad’ becoming a commodity rather than a luxury.
GEO—DESIGN: Budget Airlines. We Are All The Jet Set* considers how ‘cheap’ is more than just a price: it is a way of looking at the world. Nine research projects demonstrate how low-cost carriers impact everyday life at many scales of observation, from airport infrastructures and aircraft models to labour negotiations and digital services, from international boundaries and corporate sovereignty to marketing strategies and environmental impact.
The fifth chapter to emerge from the Design Academy Eindhoven’s GEO—DESIGN exhibition platform, the nine projects were selected by open-call, and developed by 13 alumni over the past three months.
GEO—DESIGN: Budget Airlines is presented at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, from 9 October to 14 November 2021.
*(Taxes, fees and charges apply)
Cinzia Bongino, The Terminal
Sergi Casero Nieto, Concluded Without Agreement
Qiaochu Guo and Chongjin Chen, Plan 14: Stove ⇌ Jet engine
Flora Lechner, Blind Spots
Raffaello73 (Fabio Salvadori, Federico Santarini), The Noise Responsibility
Rhinestone Rodeo (Job Claassen, Ellen Pearson), ‘All flights are fuelled with leprechaun wee and my bullshit’
Irakli Sabekia, Breathe Normally
Gundega Strauberga and Ieva Jakusa, Cheap Destinations
The Ironing Board (Marta Ríos, Miguel Parrrra), For FAQs Sake
Design Academy Eindhoven Executive Board
Joseph Grima, Creative Director
Raf de Keninck, Director Education and Research
Design Academy Eindhoven Communications & PR
Ilka van Steen
Van Abbemuseum Executive Board
Anastasia van Gennip
Van Abbemuseum Production Team
Bart van Geldrop
Van Abbemuseum Communications & PR
Neeltje van Gool