Top 10 Airline Statistics


Your next holiday has spent months in planning and budgeting and on your day of departure, you casual enters the airport, ticket (and passport) in hand. You glide through the formalities and eventually board a plane, eager to start your next memory harvesting excursion. Chances are you have chosen the specific airline in a balancing act between convenience (date/time of departure, flight duration and layover time, if applicable) and ticket price. I am almost sure you never took the size of your chosen airline group’s fleet or profitability into account. Not that I blame you. Nobody does. Truth be told however; the airline industry is big business and the top 10 players certainly means business!

top 10 airlines 01

2014 Reported Revenue (expressed in USD Billions)[*]:

  1.  42.65 – American Airlines
  2.  40.36 – Delta Air Lines
  3.  38.90 – United Airlines
  4.  31.90 – Lufthansa
  5.  26.50 – Air France / KLM
  6.  26.24 – Emirates
  7.  21.46 – Aer Lingus / BA / Iberia / Vueling
  8.  18.61 – Southwest Airlines
  9.  16.99 – China Southern Airlines
  10.  14.69 – China Eastern Airlines

top 10 airlines 02

Let’s stick with these 10 for now and learn a bit more about them.

Destinations serviced in 2014:

  1.  352 – United Air Lines
  2.  339 – American Airlines
  3.  316 – Delta Air Lines
  4.  306 – Air France / KLM
  5.  271 – Lufthansa
  6.  255 – Aer Lingus / BA / Iberia / Vueling
  7.  217 – China Eastern Airlines
  8.  210 – China Southern Airlines
  9. 144 – Emirates
  10.   97 – Southwest Airlines

top 10 airlines 03

2014 Reported Revenue per passenger (expressed in USD)[*]:

  1.  532 – Emirates
  2.  303 – Air France / KLM
  3.  301 – Lufthansa
  4.  282 – United Airlines
  5.  237 – Delta Air Lines
  6.  221 – Aer Lingus / BA / Iberia / Vueling
  7.  220 – American Airlines
  8.  186 – China Eastern Airlines
  9.  168 – China Southern Airlines
  10.  137 – Southwest Airlines

top 10 airlines 04

Employees per Aircraft [*]:

  1.  364 – Emirates
  2.  193 – Lufthansa
  3.  168 – Air France / KLM
  4.  147 – China Southern Airlines
  5.  139 – China Eastern Airlines
  6.  113 – Aer Lingus / BA / Iberia / Vueling
  7.    80 – American Airlines
  8.    67 – Southwest Airlines
  9.    67 – United Airlines
  10.    63 – Delta Air Lines

top 10 airlines 05

Properly managed airlines are not just concerned about sweating their assets, passenger safety and their passenger load factor, but also need to plan ahead and juggle the age of their fleet (and the return on investment) against future growth vs replacement rate. Here are their confirmed orders, as of January 2018 (Boeing/Airbus):

  1.  231 – American Airlines (109/122)
  2.  204 – Emirates (163/41)
  3.  202 – United Airlines (157/45)
  4.  194 – Southwest Airlines (194/0)
  5.  172 – Delta Air Lines (33/139)
  6.  167 – Aer Lingus / BA / Iberia / Vueling (17/150)
  7.  130 – Lufthansa (20/110)
  8.    69 – China Southern Airlines (49/20)
  9.    51 – Air France / KLM (22/29)
  10.    26 – China Eastern Airlines (6/20)

As of 30 November 2017, Airbus’ overall backlog of jetliners remaining to be delivered stood at 6,616 aircraft – representing the equivalent of approximately nine years of production at current rates.

— —
[*] It is important to note that some of the above airline groups have cargo, airport services and other business units as well, to help bolster their revenue streams.

Enough with all the capitalism, why not learn a bit more about the communist leader Ho Chi Minh?

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