Top 9 biggest airlines in the world
Top 9 biggest airlines in the world
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There are various ways to categorize the biggest airlines in the world. In terms of fleet size, number of passengers carried, and revenue per passenger mile, American Airlines Group was the largest. In terms of revenue, asset value, and market capitalization, Delta Air Lines was the biggest.

The largest company in terms of personnel was the Lufthansa Group, followed by FedEx Express in terms of freight ton-kilometers, Turkish Airlines in terms of countries serviced, Ryanair in terms of routes, and UPS Airlines in terms of destinations served.

Nonetheless, China Southern is now the biggest airline in the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Delta is currently in third place, with American Airlines in second.

Top 9 Largest Airlines in the World

(Ranked by

9. Hainan Airlines

Photo: Travel Daily
Photo: Travel Daily

Haikou, Hainan, People's Republic of China is home to the airline Hainan Airlines Co., Ltd. It is the largest civilian-run and predominately state-owned airline, ranking fourth in terms of fleet size in the People's Republic of China and tenth in terms of passengers carried among airlines in Asia. It provides charter services in addition to 500 scheduled domestic and international routes from Hainan and nine locations on the mainland. With hubs at Beijing Capital International Airport, Xi'an Xianyang International Airport, and several focus cities, Haikou Meilan International Airport serves as its primary base.

One of the biggest airlines in China was founded in 1989 and is called Hainan Airlines. The airline runs out of hubs in Beijing, Haikou, Xi'an, and Shenzhen with a fleet of 220 aircraft. With its main office in Haikou, Hainan Airlines offers service to 110 locations across Asia, Europe, and North America.

8. Air France / KLM

Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: Wikipedia

The national airline of France, Air France, with its headquarters in Tremblay-en-France, is stylized as AIRFRANCE. It is a member of the SkyTeam international airline alliance and a subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group. As of 2013, Air France operated scheduled passenger and cargo services to 175 destinations in 78 countries, including 93 destinations in France's overseas departments and territories. In 2019, the airline carried 46,803,000 passengers. Air France currently serves 36 destinations in France. Charles de Gaulle Airport serves as the airline's primary domestic hub while serving as its global hub. The corporate offices of Air France, which were formerly in Montparnasse, are now situated on the grounds of Charles de Gaulle Airport, which is north of Paris.

On October 7, 1933, Air Orient, Air Union, Compagnie Générale Aéroposttale, Compagnie Internationale de Navigation Aérienne (CIDNA), and Société Générale de Transport Aérien merged to create Air France (SGTA). It was one of the three primary Allied scheduled airlines operating in Germany at West Berlin's Tempelhof and Tegel airports during the Cold War, from 1950 to 1990. In 1990, it bought the operations of rival international airline UTA and domestic airline Air Inter in France. Prior to its 2003 merger with KLM, it operated as France's main national flag carrier for seven decades.

7. Southwest Airlines

Photo: Dallas Morning News
Photo: Dallas Morning News

Southwest Airlines Co., also known as Southwest, is the largest low-cost airline in the world and one of the country's major airlines. Its headquarters are in Dallas, Texas, and it offers scheduled service to 121 U.S. cities as well as ten other nations. Southwest carried more domestic passengers than any other American airline as of 2018.

Herb Kelleher founded the airline on March 15, 1967, under the name Air Southwest Co. It changed its name to Southwest Airlines Co. in 1971 when it started operating as a fully Texas-based intrastate airline, initially connecting Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. In 1979, it launched regional interstate service, and in the decades that followed, it started to go nationwide. Southwest currently provides air service to 45 different states as well as a number of Central American countries.

6. Delta Air Lines

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

One of the major American airlines and a legacy carrier is Delta Air Lines, Inc., more commonly known as Delta. Its main office is in Atlanta, Georgia. Together with its regional affiliates, Delta Connection, the airline offers over 5,400 daily flights to 325 locations across 52 nations on six continents. SkyTeam is an airline alliance that was founded by Delta.

Atlanta is the largest hub for Delta in terms of both the number of departures and the total number of passengers. In terms of the volume of scheduled passengers carried, revenue passenger miles flown, and fleet size, it is the second-largest airline in the world. On the Fortune 500, it comes in at number 69. The motto of the business is "Keep Climbing."

5. United Airlines

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

The top 5 largest airlines in the world are introduced by United Airlines. The airline had to manage a 60% RPK reduction, just like the other U.S. carriers. Between November 2020 and January 2021, the airline generated a total RPK of 28.7 billion. However, the airline operated 20 billion RPK less each month than it did before COVID.

Another significant airline in the US is United Airlines. United ranks third among all airlines in the world in terms of fleet size and the number of routes. From its hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington, the airline runs more than 800 aircraft. United Airlines has nearly 100,000 employees and flies to 342 locations worldwide.

4. Air China

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

The People's Republic of China's flag carrier and one of the "Big Three" mainland Chinese airlines is Air China Limited (alongside China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines). The headquarters of Air China are located in Beijing's Shunyi District. Beijing Capital International Airport serves as the primary hub for Air China's flight operations. With an average load factor of 81% in 2017, the airline carried 102 million passengers domestically and internationally. Along with Shanghai Airlines, the airline became a member of Star Alliance in 2007.

The "Big Three" Chinese airlines are thought to include Air China. Prior to COVID, the airline carried more than 100 million passengers on a fleet of 450 aircraft. With 50,000 employees and hubs in Beijing and Chengdu, Air China flies to more than 200 locations.

3. American Airlines

Photo: Reuters
American Airlines - Photo: Reuters

An additional American airline is in third place. The airline American. Americans had to deal with an RPK-reduction of about 60%, just like other U.S. carriers. Between November 2020 and January 2021, American Airlines operated 30.8 billion RPKs when taken as a whole.

A significant American airline is American Airlines. American Airlines is the largest airline in the world when gauging fleet size. From its hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Washington, American runs a fleet of 860 aircraft. The airline employed over 130,000 people and carried over 200 million passengers prior to COVID.

2. China Eastern

Photo: Airbus
China Eastern - Photo: Airbus

The China Eastern Airlines Building, on the grounds of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in Changning District, Shanghai, houses the corporate offices of China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited, also known as China Eastern in traditional Chinese. It operates on international, domestic, and regional routes. It is one of the "Big Three" airlines of the People's Republic of China, along with Air China and China Southern Airlines. Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport serve as its primary hubs.

After China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines is the country's second-largest airline in terms of passenger volume. On June 21, 2011, China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines, a division of China Eastern, joined SkyTeam as the fourteenth member. China Eastern Air Holding Company is the parent company of China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited.

1. China Southern

Photo: CSA
China Southern - Photo: CSA

The world's largest airline and the winner of the gold medal is China Southern. It is also astounding to see two Chinese airlines in the top two positions. A 40% reduction in RPK had to be implemented by China Southern. The airline did, however, use 40.6 billion RPKs between November 2020 and January 2021.

The third of China's "Big Three" airlines, after Air China and China Eastern, is China Southern. Guangzhou serves as the company's main operating hub, and Beijing and Guangzhou serve as its secondary hubs. The airline flies to more than 200 destinations with a fleet of more than 620 aircraft. Almost 100,000 workers are in charge of the 2,000 flights per day that go to different parts of the world.

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