In describing major airlines, are "point-to-point" and "low-cost" synonymous? Or is this an over-generalization?
What is the difference between point-to-point and low-cost airlines?
Point to point describes an airline that focuses on delivering services without a connecting hub. This cannot be said to imply low cost.
A independent airline flying between some islands and not offering connections would fall into this category as much as Ryanair, Easyjet or Spirit Airlines.
Low Cost generally implies a point-to-point operation. They structure their business model around filling aircraft on high-demand routes.
Reasons for this: The cost and complexity of handling and organising hubs and connecting flights violates their carefully controlled profit margins and structure.
Hence IMHO you can normally assume a low-cost operation will be a point-to-point operation, but not the other way around.