The busiest airlines in the world revealed: American Airlines flies the most closely followed by Delta and United
- International Air Transport Association (IATA) data has shown that American carriers are the busiest
- For cargo flights, Federal Express is the busiest, flying 16.9 billion scheduled freight tonne kilometres
- The busiest international and domestic passenger airline routes in the world are all in Asia and the Pacific
The world’s busiest airlines have been revealed – and it is American carriers that fly the most.
American Airlines is ranked top of a list of busiest airlines after flying 324 million scheduled passenger kilometres (201 million miles) in 2017.
Following is Delta Air Lines in second, which flew 316.3 million scheduled passenger kilometres (196 million miles), and then United Airlines on 311 million (193 million miles).
American Airlines is ranked top of a list of busiest airlines after flying 324 million scheduled passenger kilometres in 2017
The ranking has been revealed in a new report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which announced industry performance statistics for 2017.
The busiest non-US carrier is Emirates Airline, which flew 289 million scheduled passenger kilometres (179 million miles), claiming fourth place.
The top five is rounded off by Southwest Airlines, which flew 207.7 million scheduled passenger kilometres (129 million miles).
Also making the top ten is China Southern Airlines in sixth place on 177.4 million kilometres (110 million miles) followed by Ryanair in seventh on 157.1 million kilometres (97.6 million miles).
Lufthansa is eighth on 152.2 million kilometres (94.5 million miles) followed by China Eastern Airlines (151 million km/93.8 million miles) and Air China (145 million km/90 million miles).
In the cargo ranking Federal Express comes top having flown 16.9 billion freight tonne kilometres.
A table by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) showing the busiest passenger airlines by revenue passenger kilometres and the busiest cargo airlines by freight tonne kilometres
In second place is Emirates (12.7 billion) and then United Parcel Service (11.9 billion), Qatar Airways (11 billion) and Cathay Pacific Airways (10.8 billion).
Also making the top ten global ranking for cargo is Korea Air (8 billion, sixth), Cargo Lux (7.3 billion, seventh), Lufthansa (7.3 billion, eight), Air China (6.7 billion, ninth) and Singapore Airlines (6.6 billion, 10th).
The busiest international routes of 2017, meanwhile, are all within the Asia-Pacific region with the most scheduled passenger kilometres on the link between Hong Kong and Taipei on 5.4 million (3.3 million miles).
Following is Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta to Singapore on 3.3 million and third is the link between Bangkok Suvarnabhumi-Hong Kong on 3.1 million.
The top five is rounded off by Kuala Lumpur to Singapore on 2.8 million and Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon on 2.7 million.
Delta Air Lines is in second place – it flew 316.3 million scheduled passenger kilometres, according to 2017 data
It is a similar story for domestic routes, with the top five in 2017 all being in the Asia-Pacific region.
The busiest is Jeju to Seoul Gimpo with 13.5 million scheduled passenger kilometers (8.3 million miles) followed by Melbourne Tullamarine to Sydney on 7.8 million.
In third is Fukuoka-Tokyo Haneda in Japan on 7.6 million followed by Sapporo-Tokyo Haneda on 7.4 million.
The fifth busiest domestic route is Beijing Capital to to Shanghai Hongqiao on 6.4 million scheduled passenger kilometers.
The report also shows that worldwide annual air passenger numbers exceeded four billion for the first time, which was attributed to an improvement in global economic conditions and lower average airfares.
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said: ‘In 2000, the average citizen flew just once every 43 months. In 2017, the figure was once every 22 months.
‘Flying has never been more accessible. And this is liberating people to explore more of our planet for work, leisure and education. Aviation is the business of freedom.’
THE BUSIEST AIRLINE ROUTES IN THE WORLD
The top five international routes
1. Hong Kong-Taipei Taoyuan (5.4 million km, up 1.8% from 2016)
2. Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta-Singapore (3.3 million, up 0.8% from 2016)
3. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi-Hong Kong (3.1 million, increase of 3.5% from 2016)
4. Kuala Lumpur–Singapore (2.8 million, down. 0.3% from 2016)
5. Hong Kong-Seoul Incheon (2.7 million, down 2.2% from 2016)
The top five domestic routes:
1. Jeju-Seoul Gimpo (13.5 million km, up 14.8% over 2016)
2. Melbourne Tullamarine-Sydney (7.8 million, up 0.4% from 2016)
3. Fukuoka-Tokyo Haneda (7.6 million, an increase of 6.1% from 2016)
4. Sapporo-Tokyo Haneda (7.4 million, up 4.6% from 2016)
5. Beijing Capital-Shanghai Hongqiao (6.4 million, up 1.9% from 2016)
Source: International Air Transport Association (IATA)
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