Largest airlines in the world

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The largest airlines in the world can be defined in several ways. As of 2019, American Airlines Group is the largest by fleet size, passengers carried and revenue passenger mile. Delta Air Lines is the largest by revenue, assets value and market capitalization. Lufthansa Group is the largest by number of employees, FedEx Express by freight tonne-kilometers, Turkish Airlines by number of countries served, Ryanair by number of routes and UPS Airlines by number of destinations served.

By company revenue[edit]

Delta Air Lines is the largest by revenue, assets value and market capitalization.
Lufthansa Group is the largest by number of employees.
Forbes' world's biggest public airline companies by revenue (as of January 2020)[1]
Rank Airline Country Revenue Profit Assets Market
cap.
Employees
(US$ billions)
1 Delta Air Lines  United States 44.9 4.1 61.8 38.1 89,000
2 American Airlines Group  United States 44.5 1.4 60.6 15.4 128,900
3 Lufthansa Group  Germany 42.3 2.6 44.4 12.1 135,534
4 United Airlines Holdings  United States 41.9 2.3 50.6 23.3 92,000
5 Air France–KLM  France/ Netherlands 31.3 0.5 33.2 5.3 81,527
6 IAG  Spain/ UK/ Ireland 28.8 3.4 32.0 14.4 63,531
7 Southwest Airlines  United States 22.0 2.5 27.3 28.5 58,800
8 China Southern Airlines  China 21.7 0.5 36.0 14.8 100,831
9 All Nippon Airways  Japan 18.6 0.9 23.6 12.0 33,719
10 China Eastern Airlines  China 17.3 0.4 34.5 14.9 77,005

Note that Emirates is a state-owned company and is thus not included in this list of public companies. Its 2014-2015 revenue was Dhs. 88.819 billion (US$24.2 billion), profit Dhs. 4.555 billion (US$1.24 billion), and assets Dhs. 111.362 billion (US$30.34 billion), with 56,725 employees.

By passengers carried[edit]

Airline groups
Millions of passengers carried
Rank Airline Country 2020[2] 2019
[citation needed]
2018
[citation needed]
2017[3] 2016[4] 2015[5] 2014[6] 2013[7] 2012[8] 2011[9]
1 American Airlines Group  United States 65.7 215.18 203.74 199.6 198.7 146.53 87.83 86.823 86.335 86.042
2 Delta Air Lines  United States 55.1 204.00 192.46 186.4 183.7 138.842 129.433 120.636 116.726 113.731
3 Southwest Airlines  United States 67.8 162.68 163.60 157.8 151.8 144.575 129.087 115.323 112.234 110.587
4 United Airlines Holdings  United States 37.8 162.44 158.33 148.1 143.2 95.384 90.439 90.161 92.619 50.473
5 Ryanair  Ireland 51.0 152.4 139.2 130.3 119.8 101.401 86.370 81.395 79.649 76.422
6 China Southern Airlines  China 67.6 151.63 139.8 126.3 84.9 109.301 100.683 91.504 86.277 80.545
7 Lufthansa Group  Germany 36.4 145.2 142.3 130.0 117.4 115.2 112.5 110.4 108.9 112.0
8 China Eastern Airlines  China 61.1 121.1 110.8 80.9 75.139 66.174 62.653 79.61 73.1
9 IAG  Spain/ UK/ Ireland 118.3 112.92 104.83 100.7 94.9 77.3 67.2 54.6 51.7
10 Air China Group  China 42.6 115.00 109.7 101.6 96.5 89.8 83.0 77.7 72.4 69.4
Airlines

The IATA reports numbers for individual air operator's certificates and groups of multiple airlines can report larger numbers.

By passengers carried (thousands).png

By scheduled passenger-kilometers flown (millions)[edit]

United and Swiss (Lufthansa Group) at Tokyo Narita Airport.
Individual airlines
Rank Airline Country 2020[2] 2019 2018[10] 2017[11] 2016[12] 2015[13] 2014[14] 2013[15] 2012[16] 2011[17]
1 American Airlines  United States 123,997 342,510 330,577 323,968 320,044 320,813 208,046 206,551 203,336 203,485
2 China Southern Airlines  China 110,650 213,573 200,239 177,458 205,720 189,186 166,074 147,841 135,021 121,944
3 Delta Air Lines  United States 106,488 350,145 330,034 316,378 308,088 302,512 290,862 277,560 271,567 269,724
4 United Airlines  United States 100,188 342,935 329,562 310,859 299,080 294,970 287,547 286,802 288,282 160,270
5 China Eastern Airlines  China 88,728 186,644 166,282 150,916 138,042
6 Southwest Airlines  United States 87,263 211,379 214,561 207,762 200,848 189,097 162,445 145,124 137,708 134,918
7 Emirates  United Arab Emirates 78,746 299,496 302,298 288,886 270,797 251,190 230,855 209,377 180,880 153,264
8 Air China  China 71,417 169,030 161,199 146,961 112,247 -
9 Ryanair  Ireland 64,928 185,405 170,900 157,114 142,740 125,194
10 Qatar Airways  Qatar 57,171 172,591 152,210 #11
Air France  France 48,809 #12 150,870 #13 143,904 #14 139,217 134,528 136,405 135,821 133,035
British Airways  United Kingdom 38,825 #14 155,252 #12 151,784 #12 144,028 140,780 137,204 130,129 124,318 116,864
Lufthansa  Germany 37,503 #16 165,945 #11 158,986 152,214 149,702 145,904 143,403 144,236 142,512 140,972
Qantas  Australia 86,199 #24 85,663 #23 110,203 108,051
Continental Airlines  United States 131,583

- marks a defunct airline.

Airline holding groups
Rank Group Country 2017[3]
1 American Airlines Group  United States 364,191
2 Delta Air Lines  United States 350,299
3 United Airlines Holdings  United States 347,963
4 The Emirates Group  United Arab Emirates 292,221
5 Lufthansa Group  Germany 261,156
6 International Airlines Group  Spain/ United Kingdom/ Ireland
7 Air France–KLM  France/ Netherlands 248,476
8 China Southern Airlines  China 230,697
9 Southwest Airlines  United States 207,802
10 Air China  China 201,090

By scheduled freight tonne-kilometers (millions)[edit]

FedEx Express is the largest by freight tonne-kilometers.
Rank Airline Country 2021[18] 2020[2] 2019 2018[10] 2017[11] 2016[12] 2015[13] 2014[19] 2013[20] 2012[21] 2011[22]
1 FedEx Express  United States 20,660 19,656 17,503 17,499 16,851 15,712 15,799 16,020 16,127 16,108 15,939
2 Qatar Airways Cargo  Qatar 16,102 13,740 13,024 12,695 10,999 9,221 7,660 5,997 4,972
3 UPS Airlines  United States 15,529 14,371 12,842 12,459 11,940 11,264 10,807 10,936 10,584 10,416 10,566
4 Emirates SkyCargo  United Arab Emirates 11,842 9,569 12,052 12,713 12,715 12,270 12,157 11,240 10,459 9,319 8,132
5 Korean Air Cargo  South Korea 10,429 8,104 7,412 7,839 8,015 7,666 7,761 8,079 7,666 8,144 8,974
6 Turkish Airlines  Turkey 9,223 6,977 7,029 5,890 #12
7 Cargolux  Luxembourg 8,587 7,345 7,180 7,322 7,322 6,878 6,309 5,753 5,225
8 Atlas Air  United States 8,441 5,458 #12 4,522 #16 4,553 #16
9 Cathay Pacific Cargo  Hong Kong 8,215 8,137 10,930 11,284 10,772 9,947 9,935 9,464 8,241 8,433 9,109
10 China Southern Airlines  China 8,078 6,591 6,825 6,597
China Airlines Cargo  Taiwan 7,513 #11 6,317 5,334 #13 5,804 #13 5,266 4,813 4,538 5,411
Air China Cargo  China 7,016 #12 6,121 #11 6,767 #11 7,051 6,701 6,089 5,718
Singapore Airlines Cargo  Singapore 5,462 #16 4,156 #17 6,146 #12 6,491 #11 6,592 6,345 6,083 6,019 6,240 6,694 7,118
Lufthansa Cargo  Germany 5,324 #17 4,828 #15 7,226 7,394 7,317 7,384 6,888 7,054 7,218 7,175 7,674

By fleet size[edit]

American Airlines is the largest by fleet size, passengers carried and RPK.
FedEx Express is one of the largest airlines by fleet size and revenue.
May 23, 2019[23]
Rank Airline Country Fleet Widebody Narrowbody Regional aircraft
1 American Airlines  United States 889 113 776
2 United Airlines  United States 842 210 609
3 Delta Air Lines  United States 750 120 655
4 FedEx Express  United States 800+
5 Southwest Airlines  United States 734 735
6 China Southern Airlines  China 641 97 463 19
7 China Eastern Airlines  China 600 79 491 3
8 SkyWest  United States 502 502
9 Air China  China 471 130 306
10 Ryanair  Ireland 457 457
11 Lufthansa  Germany 385 115 198 47
12 Turkish Airlines  Turkey 382 107 225

By number of countries served[edit]

Turkish Airlines is the largest airline by number of countries served.
Rank Airline Country Countries served
(S1 2019)[24]
1 Turkish Airlines  Turkey 129
2 Air France  France 91
3 British Airways  United Kingdom 82
4 Ethiopian Airlines  Ethiopia 81
5 Emirates  United Arab Emirates 78
6 Qatar Airways  Qatar 78
7 Lufthansa  Germany 75
8 KLM  Netherlands 67
9 American Airlines  United States 62
United Airlines  United States 62

By number of routes[edit]

Ryanair is the largest airline by number of routes.
Rank Airline Country Routes served
(S1 2019)[24]
1 Ryanair  Ireland 1,831
2 American Airlines  United States 1,106
3 United Airlines  United States 950
4 easyJet  United Kingdom 945
5 Delta Air Lines  United States 939
6 Southwest Airlines  United States 754
7 China Southern Airlines  China 667
7 China Eastern Airlines  China 648
8 Wizz Air  Hungary 615
9 Air China  China 470
10 TUI Airways  United Kingdom 470

By number of destinations[edit]

UPS Airlines serves the most destinations.
Largest airlines by number of destinations served[25]
Rank Airline Country Destinations
(Dec. 2017)
1 UPS Airlines  United States 815
2 FedEx Express  United States 375
3 United Airlines  United States 373
4 American Airlines  United States 350
5 Turkish Airlines  Turkey 340
6 Delta Air Lines  United States 320
7 Lufthansa  Germany 274
8 Air Canada  Canada 220
9 Air France  France 204
10 Air China  China 201

By brand value[edit]

Largest airlines by brand value (US$ billions) according to Brand Finance (2022)[26]
Rank Airline Country $bn
1 Same position Delta Air Lines  United States 7.327
2 Same position American Airlines  United States 6.264
3 Same position United Airlines  United States 5.485
4 Same position Emirates  United Arab Emirates 4.985
5 Same position Southwest Airlines  United States 4.929
6 Rise Air Canada  Canada 2.511
7 Rise Lufthansa  Germany 2.387
8 Fall Air China  China 2.381
9 Fall China Southern Airlines  China 2.315
10 Rise All Nippon Airways  Japan 2.284

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The World's Largest Public Companies". Forbes. Archived from the original on April 23, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "World Air Transport Statistics 2021" (PDF). 2021.
  3. ^ a b "World Airline Rankings". Flight Global. 2018.
  4. ^ "World Airline Rankings". Flight Global. 2017.
  5. ^ "Global Air Traffic & Top Airlines 2016 (IATA)". IMM International. 28 June 2016.
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  7. ^ "Scheduled Passengers Carried". World Air Transport Statistics 58th Edition. IATA. Archived from the original on January 2, 2015.
  8. ^ "Scheduled Passengers Carried". World Air Transport Statistics 57th Edition. IATA. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013.
  9. ^ "Scheduled Passengers Carried". World Air Transport Statistics 56th Edition. IATA. Archived from the original on December 17, 2012.
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  11. ^ a b "62nd World Air Transport Statistics" (png). IATA. Retrieved 28 September 2022.
  12. ^ a b "Summary of passenger and freight traffic" (PDF). World Air Transport Statistics. IATA. 2017.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ a b "Summary of passenger and freight traffic" (PDF). World Air Transport Statistics. IATA. 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-07-05. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  14. ^ "Scheduled Passenger - Kilometres Flown". World Air Transport Statistics 59th Edition. IATA. Archived from the original on July 6, 2015.
  15. ^ "Scheduled Passenger - Kilometres Flown". World Air Transport Statistics 58th Edition. IATA. Archived from the original on November 11, 2014.
  16. ^ "Scheduled Passenger - Kilometres Flown". World Air Transport Statistics 57th Edition. IATA. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013.
  17. ^ "Scheduled Passenger - Kilometres Flown". World Air Transport Statistics 56th Edition. IATA. Archived from the original on December 16, 2012.
  18. ^ url=https://www.aircargonews.net/airlines/top-25-air-cargo-carriers-for-2021-revealed/
  19. ^ "Scheduled Freight Tonne - Kilometres". World Air Transport Statistics 59th Edition. IATA. Archived from the original on July 4, 2015.
  20. ^ "Scheduled Freight Tonne - Kilometres". World Air Transport Statistics 58th Edition. IATA. Archived from the original on November 25, 2014.
  21. ^ "Scheduled Freight Tonne - Kilometres". World Air Transport Statistics 57th Edition. IATA. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013.
  22. ^ "Scheduled Freight Tonne - Kilometres". World Air Transport Statistics 56th Edition. IATA. Archived from the original on December 15, 2012.
  23. ^ "World Airline Fleets". Air Transport World. July 2019. p. 45-55.
  24. ^ a b "Ethiopian Airlines set to serve more country markets than MEB3 in S19, Ryanair still tops route table". Airline Network News and Analysis. 27 February 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  25. ^ "Top 10 World's Largest Airlines". AirportSpotting. 8 December 2017.
  26. ^ "Airlines 50 2022". Brand Finance. Brandirectory. Retrieved 23 September 2022.