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World's largest airlines: Map

  
  

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There are several methods to measure the size of an airline, so several different lists of the world's largest airlines are available.

By scheduled passengers

Scheduled passengers carried

Southwest B737
Rank Airline 2008
(thousands)
2007
(thousands)
2006
(thousands)
2005
(thousands)
1 Southwest Airlinesmarker 101,921 101,911 96,277 88,380
2 American Airlines 92,772 98,162 99,835 98,038
3 Delta Air Lines 71,843 72,900 73,584 86,007
4 United Airlines 63,070 68,400 69,265 66,717
5 China Southern Airlines 57,961 56,900 48,512 43,228
6 Ryanair 57,647
7 US Airways 54,776
8 Lufthansamarker 54,699 62,900 53,400 51,300
9 Air France 50,449 74,795 73,484 70,015
10 Northwest Airlines 49,671
Continental Airlines 53,700 55,925 57,547
Japan Airlines 50,442 48,911 50,884
All Nippon Airways 50,384 49,226 48,315


Notes
  • Based on International Air Transport Association published figures
  • Delta will become the world's largest carrier once Delta and Northwest have combined into one airline, which will be called "Delta".


Scheduled international passengers carried

Rank Airline 2008
(thousands)
2007
(thousands)
2006
(thousands)
1 Ryanair 57,647 49,030 40,532
2 Lufthansamarker 42,151 41,322 38,236
3 EasyJet 35,417 30,173 21,917
4 Air France 32,508 31,549 30,417
5 British Airways 29,054 28,302 29,498
6 KLM 23,808 23,165 22,322
7 Emirates Airline 22, 444 20,448 16,748
8 American Airlines 21,154 21,479 21,228
9 Singapore Airlines 19,142 18,957 18,022
10 Cathay Pacific 18,860


Notes
  • Based on International Air Transport Association published figures
  • Excludes figures for Swiss International Air Lines and Germanwings
  • Excludes figures for SilkAir
  • Excludes figures for Dragonair, which if included will be 23,253.


Scheduled domestic passengers carried

Rank Airline 2008
(thousands)
2007
(thousands)
2006
(thousands)
1 Southwest Airlinesmarker 101,921 101,911 96,277
2 American Airlines 71,618 76,687 78,607
3 Delta Air Lines 59,499 61,651 63,446
4 China Southern Airlines 54,154 52,505 45,249
5 United Airlines 53,307 58,162 58,801
6 US Airways 49,208 37,560 32,094
7 All Nippon Airways 42,854 44,792 45,328
8 Northwest Airlines 38,890 37,175 35,852
9 Japan Airlines 35,068 35,583 37,154
10 Continental Airlines 34,578 44,337 45,743


Notes
  • Based on International Air Transport Association published figures
  • Includes figures for flights between Hong Kong from the rest of the People's Republic of China.


By scheduled passenger-kilometres

Scheduled passenger-kilometres flown

Rank Airline 2008
(millions)
2006
(millions)
2005
(millions)
1 American Airlines 242,987 231,330 222,761
2 United Airlines 204,706 197,684 191,933
3 Delta Air Lines 199,895 178,952 166,209
4 Continental Airlines 149,845 137,712 130,965
5 Air France 129,433 123,458 128,914
6 Lufthansamarker 126,267 122,672 107,091
7 Northwest Airlines 126,212 116,845 91,357
8 Southwest Airlinesmarker 124,734 116,845 90,385
9 British Airways 114,608 113,275 114,896
10 KLM 113,672


Notes
  • Based on International Air Transport Association published figures
  • Excludes figures for KLM
  • Excludes figures for Swiss International Air Lines and Germanwings
  • Delta will become the world's largest carrier once operations with Northwest Airlines have combined.


Scheduled international passenger-kilometres flown

Rank Airline 2008
(millions)
2007
(millions)
1 Air France 121,498 118,112
2 Lufthansamarker 121,101 211,987
3 British Airways 113,075 211,987
4 Emirates Airline 100,672 90,530
5 Singapore Airlines 93,626 90,901
6 Cathay Pacific 83,542 74,987
7 American Airlines 80,809 81,324
8 KLM 77,550
9 United Airlines 73,927 77,709
10 Delta Air Lines 71,972 63,202


Notes
  • Based on International Air Transport Association published figures
  • Excludes figures for KLM
  • Excludes figures for Swiss International Air Lines and Germanwings
  • Excludes figures for SilkAir
  • Includes figures for flights between Hong Kong and the rest of the People's Republic of China


Scheduled domestic passenger-kilometers flown

Rank Airline 2008
(millions)
2007
(millions)
2006
(millions)
1 American Airlines 131,178 141,437 143,201
2 Southwest Airlinesmarker 118,272 116,385 108,935
3 United Airlines 102,779 114,224 114,106
4 Delta Air Lines 97,923 103,008 104,626
5 US Airways 77,054 52,018 43,606
6 China Southern Airlines 71,584 69,367 59,006
7 Continental Airlines 69,814 74,126 70,810
8 Northwest Airlines 58,501 63,872 64,979
9 JetBlue Airways 41,953 41,395 37,513
10 Air China 38,761


Notes
  • Based on International Air Transport Association published figures
  • Includes figures for flights to Hong Kong from the rest of the People's Republic of China.


By scheduled freight

Scheduled freight tonne-kilometres flown

Rank Airline 2008
(millions)
2007
(millions)
2006
(millions)
2005
(millions)
1 FedEx Express 26,122 19,710 16,145 12,408
2 UPS Airlines 16,977 13,968 9,941 9,075
3 Korean Air Cargo 8,890 9,568 8,764 8,072
4 Cathay Pacific 8,245 8,225 6,914 6,458
5 Lufthansa Cargo 8,206 8,348 8,091 7,680
6 Singapore Airlines Cargo 7,486 7,945 7,991 7,603
7 Air France 6,820 6,126 5,868 5,532
8 Cargolux 6,334 5,482 5,237 5,149
9 Emirates Airline 5,313 5,497
10 China Airlines 5,261 6,301 6,099 6,037


Notes
  • Based on International Air Transport Association published figures
  • Includes figures for Lufthansamarker
  • Includes figures for Singapore Airlines
  • Excludes figures for KLM


Scheduled international freight tonne-kilometres flown

Rank Airline 2008
(millions)
2007
(millions)
2006
(millions)
1 Korean Air Cargo 8,822 9,498 8,680
2 Cathay Pacific 8,245 8,225 6,914
3 Lufthansa Cargo 8,194 8,336 8,077
4 Singapore Airlines Cargo 7,486 7,945 7,991
5 FedEx Express 6,582 6,470 6,136
6 Emirates Airline 6,013 5,497 5,027
7 Air France 6,013 6,123 5,864
8 Cargolux 5,334 5,482 5,237
9 UPS Airlines 5,289 5,077
10 China Airlines 5,261 6,301 6,099


Notes
  • Based on International Air Transport Association published figures
  • Includes figures for Lufthansamarker
  • Includes figures for Singapore Airlines
  • Includes figures for flights between Hong Kong and the rest of the People's Republic of China
  • Excludes figures for KLM


Scheduled domestic freight tonne-kilometres flown



Rank Airline 2007
(millions)
2006
(millions)
1 FedEx Express 9,239 9,009
2 UPS Airlines 5,892 5,315
3 China Southern Airlines 1,101 1,027
4 Northwest Airlines 773 890
5 Air China 757 706
6 China Eastern Airlines 590 560
7 United Airlines 507 417
8 American Airlines 469 493
9 All Nippon Airways 407 404
10 Japan Airlines 399


Notes
  • Based on International Air Transport Association published figures
  • Excludes figures for flights to Hong Kong and/or Macaumarker from the rest of the People's Republic of China.


By fleet size

Passenger airlines

Rank Airline Fleet size Notes
1 American Airlines 608
2 Delta Air Lines 575
3 Southwest Airlinesmarker 547
4 United Airlines 386
5 Air France-KLM 378
6 Continental Airlines 361
7 US Airways 356
8 Air Canada 334
9 China Southern Airlines 327
10 SkyWest Airlines 280
11 American Eagle Airlines 270


Cargo airlines

Rank Airline Fleet size Notes
1 FedEx Express 672
2 UPS Airlines 262
3 DHL Aviation 77


By number of destinations

Current Destination Number

This list comprises the airlines with over 100 destinations. These destinations include subsidiaries airlines of each company, but exclude codeshare agreements.

Rank Airline Country Destination Number
1 Delta Air Lines United Statesmarker 375
2 Continental Airlines United Statesmarker 351
3 Northwest Airlines United Statesmarker 254
4 US Airways United Statesmarker 231
5 Lufthansamarker Germanymarker 201
6 Air China Chinamarker 185
7 Air France Francemarker 170
8 SkyWest Airlines United Statesmarker 160
9 Turkish Airlines Turkeymarker 158
10 American Airlines United Statesmarker 157
11 British Airways United Kingdommarker 150
12 Ryanair Irelandmarker 143
13 Japan Airlines Japanmarker 125
13 KLM Netherlandsmarker 125
15 Air Berlin Germanymarker 123
16 China Southern Airlines Chinamarker 121
17 Iberia Airlines Spainmarker 118
18 Korean Air South Koreamarker 116
19 United Airlines United Statesmarker 114
20 easyJet United Kingdommarker 106
21 Emirates Airline United Arab Emiratesmarker 101


By region

Scheduled passengers carried

Continent/
region
Airline Passengers carried Full list
Africa South African Airways 8,050,000 (2006/2007) List of largest airlines in Africa
Asia China Southern Airlines 58,237,000 (2008) List of largest airlines in Asia
Europe Air France-KLM 74,795,000 (2007) List of largest airlines in Europe
North America Southwest Airlinesmarker 101,911,000 (2007) List of largest airlines in North America
Oceania Qantas 25,950,000 (2007) List of largest airlines in Oceania
South America TAM Airlines (TAM Linhas AĆ©reas) 24,002,620 (2008) List of largest airlines in South America


Historical

During the Sovietmarker era, Aeroflot was the Soviet national airline and the largest airline in the world from late 1930s until the fall of the Soviet Union, where it employed more than 4,000 pilots, 60,000 other service personnel and operated around 3,000 aircraft at its peak. However, REG Davies claims that by 1992 Aeroflot had over 600,000 people operating over 10,000 aircraft. By 1967, Aeroflot amassing a fleet equal to that of the largest American carriers combined by 1976 Aeroflot carried its 100 millionth passenger. In 1988, Aeroflot operated 1,600 medium- and long-range passenger and cargo aircraft plus many types of fixed and rotary-wing aircraft serving more 3,600 population centers and had a route network, excluding overlapping routes, that extended 1,156,000 kilometers, of which 185,000 kilometers were international routes. Aeroflot transported 3,157,000 tons of freight and carried 116.1 million passengers, of whom 3.4 million were on international flights.

See also



Notes

References




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