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Largest airlines in the world

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The largest airlines in the world can be defined in several ways. As of 2023, Delta Air Lines is the largest by revenue, assets value, fleet size and market capitalization; American Airlines Group by passengers carried, revenue passenger mile, number of employees and destinations served; FedEx Express by freight tonne-kilometers; Ryanair by number of routes; and Turkish Airlines by number of countries served.

By financial performance[edit]

Delta Air Lines ranks first by revenue, total assets, market capitalization and brand value.
American Airlines Group ranks first by number of employees and passengers carried.

Revenue[edit]

Forbes' world's biggest public airline companies by revenue (as of January 2023)[1]
Rank Airline Country Revenue Profit Assets Market
cap.
Employees
(US$ billions)
1 Delta Air Lines  United States 53.99 1.90 73.13 21.81 95,000
2 American Airlines Group  United States 52.26 1.77 66.79 9.05 129,700
3 United Airlines Holdings  United States 48.82 1.92 70.42 14.7 103,300
4 Lufthansa Group  Germany 35.80 0.94 48.79 12.10 109,509
5 Air France–KLM  France/ Netherlands 29.41 0.97 34.81 4.12 78,950
6 Southwest Airlines  United States 24.83 0.65 35.55 17.65 66,000
7 International Airlines Group  UK/ Spain 24.28 1.15 41.95 9.41 66,044
8 Turkish Airlines  Turkey 19.68 2.79 32.00 8.88 40,264
9 China Southern Airlines  China 12.92 –4.81 44.92 12.54 100,431
10 Air Canada  Canada 12.72 –1.31 21.78 5.33 42,916

Note that Emirates is a state-owned company, and is thus not included in this list of public companies. Its 2023 revenue was estimated over US$29.2 billion, which would have had placed the company into 6th place. 2021's over US$18 billion and 5th place. Its 2014-2015 revenue was DH 88.819 billion (US$24.2 billion), profit DH 4.555 billion (US$1.24 billion), and assets DH 111.362 billion (US$30.34 billion), with 56,725 employees. Qatar Airways Group is similarly privately held with 2023 revenue of nearly 21 billions USD placing it into the 9th place (with Emirates included) above the Turkish Airlines.

Brand value[edit]

Largest airlines by brand value (US$ billions) according to Brand Finance (2024)[2]
Rank Airline Country $bn Year-to-year
change
1 Steady Delta Air Lines  United States 10.771 +20.7%
2 Steady American Airlines  United States 10.242 +20.7%
3 Steady United Airlines  United States 8.676 +11.5%
4 Steady Emirates  United Arab Emirates 6.610 +29.5%
5 Steady Southwest Airlines  United States 5.394 +14.7%
6 Rise British Airways  United Kingdom 3.175 +45.2%
7 Rise Qatar Airways  Qatar 3.138 +27.0%
8 Rise Air Canada  Canada 2.805 +8.6%
9 Fall China Southern Airlines  China 2.767 −14.3%
10 Rise Ryanair  Ireland 2.541 +7.1%

By flight volume[edit]

Passengers carried[edit]

Millions of passengers carried
Rank Airline Group Country 2022[3][4] 2020[5] 2019[6] 2018[7] 2017[8] 2016[9] 2015[10] 2014[11] 2013[12] 2012[13] 2011[14]
1 American Airlines Group  United States 199.3 95.3 215.2 203.7 199.6 198.7 146.53 87.83 86.823 86.335 86.042
2 Delta Air Lines  United States 175.0 80.0 204.0 192.5 186.4 183.7 138.842 129.433 120.636 116.726 113.731
3 Ryanair  Ireland 168.6 52.4 148.6 142.1 130.3 119.8 101.401 86.370 81.395 79.649 76.422
4 Southwest Airlines  United States 157.0 67.8 162.7 163.6 157.8 151.8 144.575 129.087 115.323 112.234 110.587
5 United Airlines Holdings  United States 144.3 57.8 162.4 158.3 148.1 143.2 95.384 90.439 90.161 92.619 50.473
6 Lufthansa Group  Germany 101.8 36.4 145.2 142.3 130.0 117.4 115.2 112.5 110.4 108.9 112.0
7 IAG  UK/ Spain 94.7 31.3 #12 118.3 112.9 104.83 100.7 94.9 77.3 67.2 54.6 51.7
8 Air France–KLM  France/ Netherlands 83.3 28.9 #14 85.6 #12
9 IndiGo  India 75.3 35.0 #11 61.9 #16
10 Turkish Airlines  Turkey 71.8 28.0 #17= 75.2 #14

Scheduled passenger-kilometers flown (millions)[edit]

American Airlines and United Express aircraft at Los Angeles International Airport
Airline holding groups
Rank Airline Group Country 2022[3] 2021[15][16] 2020[5] 2019[17] 2017[8] 2016[18] 2015[19] 2013[20]
1 American Airlines Group  United States 347,221 259,570 147,746 388,254 364,191 ~359,400 358,823 ~206,500
2 United Airlines Holdings  United States 332,997 207,572 118,878 385,211 347,963 ~328,200 335,728 ~287,200
3 Delta Air Lines Group  United States 314,783 216,766 118,120 382,400 350,299 ~342,600 337,264 ~278,000
4 Air France–KLM  France/ Netherlands 237,567 116,104 81,212 275,500 248,476 ~238,200 235,715 ~228,900
5 Emirates  United Arab Emirates 225,867 93,799 #11 78,746 298,000 292,221 ~270,800 255,176 ~209,300
6 International Airlines Group  UK/ Spain 215,749 78,689 #15 72,262 285,800 252,819 ~243,500 221,996 186,304
7 Lufthansa Group  Germany 207,035 89,397 #13 69,462 296,500 261,156 ~226,600 220,400 ~153,400
8 Southwest Airlines  United States 199,425 166,667 87,242 211,379 #11 207,802 ~200,700 189,057 ~167,800
9 Turkish Airlines  Turkey 162,665 153,200 #15
10 Qatar Airways  Qatar 154,372 172,600 #13
Ryanair  Ireland 116,625 #11 ~121,000 185,405 #12 130,588 #12 ~103,500 #15
China Southern Air Holding  China 102,078 #13 152,426 153,442 284,900 230,697 ~206,100 189,552 ~148,400
Aeroflot Group  Russia 98,407 #14 100,112 68,014 #11 156,250 #14 97,636 #20
China Eastern Air Holding  China 61,272 #23 108,804 107,302 220,000 183,152 ~167,500 #11 146,291 #11 ~120,400 #11
Air China Group  China 60,354 #24 104,626 109,832 233,178 201,090 ~188,100 171,695 ~142,600
Individual airlines
Rank Airline Country 2022[4] 2021[15] 2020[21] 2019 2018[22] 2017[23] 2016[24] 2015[25] 2014[26] 2013[27] 2012[28] 2011[29]
1 American Airlines  United States 308,065 237,471 123,997 342,510 330,577 323,968 320,044 320,813 208,046 206,551 203,336 203,485
2 United Airlines  United States 305,893 178,499 100,188 342,935 329,562 310,859 299,080 294,970 287,547 286,802 288,282 160,270
3 Delta Air Lines  United States 292,202 195,312 106,488 350,145 330,034 316,378 308,088 302,512 290,862 277,560 271,567 269,724
4 Emirates  United Arab Emirates 225,867 93,799 78,746 299,496 302,298 288,886 270,797 251,190 230,855 209,377 180,880 153,264
5 Ryanair  Ireland ~207,000 120,563 64,928 185,405 170,900 157,114 142,740 125,194
6 Southwest Airlines  United States 199,263 166,631 87,263 211,379 214,561 207,762 200,848 189,097 162,445 145,124 137,708 134,918
7 Qatar Airways  Qatar ~168,000 91,551 57,171 172,591 152,210 #11 137,603 #11
8 Turkish Airlines  Turkey 162,655 86,701 52,206 #11 150,240 #14 145,521 #13 125,098 #14
9 Air France  France 123,444 60,180 #13 48,809 #12 150,870 #13 143,904 #14 136,659 #12 139,217 134,528 136,405 135,821 133,035
10 Lufthansa  Germany 119,363 50,067 #17 37,503 #16 165,945 #11 158,986 152,214 149,702 145,904 143,403 144,236 142,512 140,972
British Airways  United Kingdom 104,496 #12 30,698 #30 38,825 #14 155,252 #12 151,784 #12 144,028 140,780 137,204 130,129 124,318 116,864
China Southern Airlines  China 102,078 #13 109,309 110,650 213,573 200,239 177,458 205,720 189,186 166,074 147,841 135,021 121,944
Qantas  Australia 63,849 #22 10,157 #77 86,199 #24 85,663 #23 120,029 #15 110,203 108,051
China Eastern Airlines  China 61,288 #24 88,677 88,728 186,644 166,282 150,916 138,042
Air China  China 60,355 #25 67,745 #11 71,417 169,030 161,199 146,961 135,464 #13 112,247 -
Continental Airlines  United States 131,583

- marks a defunct airline.


Scheduled freight tonne-kilometers (millions)[edit]

FedEx Express is the largest by freight tonne-kilometers.
Rank Airline Country 2022[30] 2021[31] 2020[21] 2019[32] 2018[22] 2017[23] 2016[24] 2015[25] 2014[33] 2013[34] 2012[35]
1 FedEx Express  United States 19,547 20,660 19,656 17,503 17,499 16,851 15,712 15,799 16,020 16,127 16,108
2 UPS Airlines  United States 15,889 15,529 14,371 12,842 12,459 11,940 11,264 10,807 10,936 10,584 10,416
3 Qatar Airways Cargo  Qatar 14,267 16,102 13,740 13,024 12,695 10,999 9,221 7,660 5,997 4,972
4 Emirates SkyCargo  United Arab Emirates 10,153 11,842 9,569 12,052 12,713 12,715 12,270 12,157 11,240 10,459 9,319
5 Korean Air Cargo  South Korea 9,518 10,429 8,104 7,412 7,839 8,015 7,666 7,761 8,079 7,666 8,144
6 Atlas Air  United States 8,675 8,441 5,458 #12 4,522 #16 4,553 #16
7 Turkish Cargo  Turkey 8,318 9,223 6,977 7,029 5,890 #12 4,728 #15 3,640 #20
8 Cargolux  Luxembourg 7,971 8,587 7,345 7,180 7,322 7,322 6,878 6,309 5,753 5,225
9 China Southern Airlines Cargo  China 6,915 8,078 6,591 6,825 6,597 6,174 #11 5,939 #11 5,355 #11 4,736 #12
10 China Airlines Cargo  Taiwan 6,359 7,513 #11 6,317 5,334 #13 5,804 #13 5,741 #12 5,273 #12 5,343 #12 5,266 4,813 4,538
Air China Cargo  China 6,077 #12 7,016 #12 6,121 #11 6,767 #11 7,051 6,701 6,089 5,718 4,910 #11
Cathay Pacific Cargo  Hong Kong 5,774 #13 8,215 8,137 10,930 11,284 10,772 9,947 9,935 9,464 8,241 8,433
Singapore Airlines Cargo  Singapore 5,193 #15 5,462 #16 4,156 #17 6,146 #12 6,491 #11 6,592 6,345 6,083 6,019 6,240 6,694
Lufthansa Cargo  Germany 5,153 #16 5,324 #17 4,828 #15 7,226 7,394 7,317 7,384 6,888 7,054 7,218 7,175

By fleet size[edit]

Aircraft operated[edit]

Delta Air Lines operates the largest number of aircraft, as of May 2024.
June 2024[36]
Rank Airline Country No. Ref.
1 Delta Air Lines[a]  United States 990 [37]
2 American Airlines[a]  United States 968 [38]
3 United Airlines[a]  United States 956 [39]
4 Southwest Airlines  United States 815 [40]
5 China Southern Airlines  China 659 [41]
6 China Eastern Airlines  China 620 [42]
7 SkyWest Airlines[b]  United States 576 [43]
8 FedEx Express[c]  United States 498 [44]
9 Air China  China 496 [45]
10 IndiGo  India 380 [46]
  1. ^ a b c Mainline carrier. Includes mainline (non-regional) fleet only.
  2. ^ Non-mainline (regional) carrier.
  3. ^ Cargo carrier.


Aircraft owned[edit]

China National Aviation Holdings Air China Group has the world's most valuable fleet, despite owning fewer aircraft than Delta Air Lines, Inc. or American Airlines Group, which co-lead by numbers.
July 2023[47]
Rank Holding company No. Value ($bn)
1 (tie) #52 American Airlines Group 854 #595 16.7 #14.7
1 (tie) #2 Delta Air Lines, Inc. 854 #682 15.8 #12.4
3 #1 United Airlines Holdings 764 #700 17.9 #14.0
4 #3 Southwest Airlines 759 #650 16.8 #11.4
5 #6 China Eastern Airlines 583 #501 18.5 #14.4
6 #9 Air China Group 580 #352 19.0 #11.6
7 #7 China Southern Airlines 545 #447 17.3 #14.8
8 #8 Ryanair Holdings 529 #417 15.3 #10.6
9 #5 SkyWest, Inc. 520 #511 4.5 #4.4
10 #11 Lufthansa Group 514 #268 11.7 #6.8

Aircraft capacity[edit]

American Airlines leads by capacity to carry passengers.
2022[48]
Rank Airline Country Annual Capacity
1 American Airlines  United States 248,299,958
2 Delta Air Lines  United States 210,132,982
3 Southwest Airlines  United States 208,191,620
4 United Airlines  United States 177,513,595
5 Ryanair  Ireland 169,559,280
6 China Southern Airlines  China 106,602,244
7 China Eastern Airlines  China 101,138,367
8 IndiGo  India 99,449,786
9 Turkish Airlines  Turkey 89,471,060
10 easyJet  United Kingdom 88,142,891

By route network[edit]

Countries served[edit]

Turkish Airlines serves the largest number of countries, as of February 2024.
February 2024[citation needed]
Rank Airline Country No. Ref.
1 Turkish Airlines  Turkey 119 [49]
2 Qatar Airways  Qatar 88 [50]
=3 Air France  France 84 [51]
=3 Ethiopian Airlines  Ethiopia 84 [52]
5 Emirates  United Arab Emirates 79 [53]
6 British Airways  United Kingdom 78 [54]
7 Lufthansa  Germany 77 [55]
8 United Airlines  United States 71 [56]
9 KLM  Netherlands 64 [57]
10 American Airlines  United States 63 [58]

Destinations served[edit]

United Airlines serves the largest number of destinations, as of February 2024.
February 2024[citation needed]
Rank Airline Country No. Ref.
1 United Airlines  United States 357 [56]
2 American Airlines  United States 352 [58]
3 Delta Air Lines  United States 310 [59]
4 Turkish Airlines  Turkey 286 [49]
5 China Southern Airlines  China 238 [60]
6 Ryanair  Ireland 235 [61]
7 Lufthansa  Germany 226 [54]
8 China Eastern Airlines  China 225 [62]
9 British Airways  United Kingdom 208 [55]
10 Air France  France 202 [51]

Routes served[edit]

Southwest Airlines serves the largest number of routes, as of February 2024.
February 2024[citation needed]
Rank Airline Country No. Ref.
1 Southwest Airlines  United States 3,161 [63]
2 Ryanair  Ireland 2,631 [61]
3 American Airlines  United States 1,237 [58]
4 China Eastern Airlines  China 1,051 [62]
5 United Airlines  United States 1,033 [56]
6 Delta Air Lines  United States 975 [59]
7 China Southern Airlines  China 963 [60]
8 Air China  China 641 [64]
9 IndiGo  India 610 [65]
10 Turkish Airlines  Turkey 531 [49]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  43. ^ "SkyWest Airlines Fleet". Planespotters.net.
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