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Largest Airlines in the World 2023 | RatePunk

As we soar into 2023, the aviation industry continues to reshape and rebound in remarkable ways. In the shadow of a challenging past, marked by global events and economic shifts, airlines have showcased resilience, innovation, and an unwavering commitment to connect corners of the globe. In this ever-evolving landscape, a few giants rise above the rest, not just in their sheer size but in their monumental influence on global travel.

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By Eglė

Published: Sep 21, 2023 min read

Largest Airlines in the World 2023 | RatePunk

Today, we take you on a journey through the skies to showcase the largest airlines of 2023. From those with sprawling fleets to those commanding staggering revenues, these industry titans are redefining the way we experience the world. Buckle up and join us as we navigate the altitudes of aviation supremacy.

What are the 7 largest airline companies in the world?

TOP 7 largest airlines in the world - American Airlines - ratepunk

1. American Airlines

  • Headquarters: Fort Worth, Texas
  • 2022 Revenue: $29.9 billion
  • Total Employees: 123,400
  • Fleet: 935 aircraft
  • Key Information:
    • Recognized as the world's largest airline in terms of revenue passenger mile, scheduled passengers carried, and fleet size.
    • Operates approximately 6,800 flights daily, covering 350 destinations in over 50 countries.
    • Founding member of Oneworld, the third-largest global airline alliance.
    • Their fleet, mainly consisting of Airbus and Boeing, predominantly includes Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A320 series aircraft.
TOP 7 largest airlines in the world - Delta  Airlines - ratepunk

2. Delta Air Lines

  • Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2022 Revenue: $29.9 billion
  • Total Employees: 83,000
  • Fleet: 915 aircraft
  • Key Information:
    • Holds the title as the second-largest airline globally in terms of scheduled passengers, and the largest in terms of revenue and market cap.
    • Manages over 5,400 daily flights spanning 325 destinations on six continents.
    • Founding member of SkyTeam, the world's second-largest airline alliance.
    • Historically significant, having grown massively since the 1940s, specializing in freight transport.
TOP 7 largest airlines in the world - United Airlines - ratepunk

3. United Airlines

  • Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois
  • 2022 Revenue: $24.63 billion
  • Total Employees: 92,795
  • Fleet: 891 aircraft
  • Key Information:
    • Stands as the third-largest airline in the world concerning fleet size and travel routes.
    • Operates primarily transcontinental flights in the U.S but also services hundreds of thousands of passengers daily across six continents.
    • Founding member of Star Alliance, the largest airline alliance globally.
    • Its fleet is a mix of Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
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4. Lufthansa

  • Headquarters: Cologne, Germany
  • 2022 Revenue: $16.3 billion
  • Total Employees: 107,643
  • Fleet: 710 aircraft
  • Key Information:
    • Recognized as the largest airline in Germany and Europe in terms of scheduled passengers.
    • Founding member of Star Alliance.
    • Boasts multiple subsidiary airlines, including Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines.
    • Their operations span both passenger and cargo services, with Lufthansa Technik AG being the largest aircraft maintenance and repair company in Europe.
TOP 7 largest airlines in the world - Emirates - ratepunk

5. Emirates

  • Headquarters: Dubai, UAE
  • 2022 Revenue: $16.1 billion
  • Total Employees: 105,730
  • Fleet: 262 aircraft
  • Key Information:
    • Dominates as the flag carrier and largest airline of the United Arab Emirates.
    • Operates over 3,600 weekly flights, covering 150 cities in 80 countries.
    • Despite being a relatively young airline (founded in 1985), Emirates has seen consistent growth, expanding at an annual rate of 20% since its inception.
TOP 7 largest airlines in the world -Southwest Airlines - ratepunk

6. Southwest Airlines

  • Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
  • 2022 Revenue: $15.79 billion
  • Total Employees: 66,100
  • Fleet: 792 aircraft
  • Key Information:
    • Established in 1967, Southwest started as a Texas-based intrastate airline and has since grown to be the largest domestic flight carrier in the U.S.
    • Entire fleet comprises Boeing 737 jetliners, marking them as the world's most extensive operator of this aircraft model.
    • Unique for its operational style, Southwest prefers a blend of point-to-point and rolling hub models over the traditional hub-and-spoke system.
TOP 7 largest airlines in the world - China Southern- ratepunk

7. China Southern

  • Headquarters: Guangzhou, China
  • 2022 Revenue: $14.23 billion
  • Total Employees: 98,098
  • Fleet: 653 aircraft
  • Key Information:
    • Noted as Asia's largest airline based on revenue, fleet size, and the number of scheduled passengers.
    • Established in 1988 as a result of China's decentralization and restructuring of state-owned CAAC Airlines.
    • Manages more than 2,000 daily departures, covering 200 destinations in 60 countries.

In conclusion, the enormity and prowess of the world's largest airlines are a testament to human ambition, innovation, and the ceaseless desire to connect across vast distances. These airlines are not just carriers transporting passengers from point A to B; they are colossal brands synonymous with trust, reliability, and the shrinking of our vast world into a global village. As we navigate the future of aviation, these giants of the skies will undoubtedly lead the way, setting benchmarks in efficiency, sustainability, and passenger experience. The story of their growth and dominance offers valuable lessons in resilience, adaptation, and vision.

Is Ryanair the biggest airline in the world?

No, Ryanair is not the biggest airline in the world in terms of fleet size or revenue. However, Ryanair is one of the largest low-cost carriers in Europe and has often been recognized as the largest airline in Europe by the number of scheduled passengers carried. The metrics for determining the "biggest" airline can vary, including fleet size, number of passengers, number of destinations served, revenue, or profit. In many of these categories, especially globally, airlines like American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, or Southwest Airlines, among others, often take the lead. 

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