20 biggest airlines

Size is important. Goes for airlines too. In the US, mergers has formed mega carriers, like American, Delta and United. In other parts of the world they are just big by themselves, or some also via mergers. The 20 largest are listed by available number of seats available last year:

20. Alaska Airlines / 19. Aeroflot Russian Airlines / 18. Air France / 17. British Airways / 16. Air Canada / 15. LATAM Airlines Group / 14. All Nippon Airways (ANA) / 13. IndiGo
12. Emirates / 11. Lufthansa / 10. Air China / 9. Turkish Airlines / 8. EasyJet
7. China Eastern Airlines / 6. China Southern Airlines / 5. Ryanair / 4. United Airlines
3. Southwest Airlines / 2. Delta Air Lines / 1. American Airlines

To airline buffs number of seats are less important than actual number of aircraft. Here is the real deal with number of aircraft within brackets:

20. Air Canada (180) / 18. Air France (206) / 18. IndiGo (206) / 17. Alaska Airlines (233)
16. Aeroflot Russian Airlines (253) / 15. British Airways (267) / 14. Emirates (271)
13. All Nippon Airways (294) / 12. LATAM Airlines Group (309) / 11. EasyJet (317)
10. Lufthansa (338) / 9. Turkish Airlines (350) / 8. Air China (418) / 7. Ryanair (439)
6. China Eastern Airlines (525) / 5. China Southern Airlines (597)                                            4. Southwest Airlines (749) / 3. United Airlines (765) / 2. Delta Air Lines (879)
1. American Airlines (956)

Quite a few pilots are needed to fly all these aircraft, hopefully all well educated and well trained. As air-travel dubbles in the coming decades, Boeing estimates a need for 790.000 new pilots by 2037, more than 200.000 in the US alone. Seems like flight academies is one of the hottest businesses ahead. The shortage of well trained pilots is unfortunately evident, since the reason more than 100 airlines are banned in EU is not because of substandard aircraft only. On the contrary, most fast-growing low cost airlines have brand new aircraft. Some put pilots with just a few flight hours in the right seat of modern jets. The co-pilot of the Ethiopian aircraft that crashed the other day had 200. Training is expensive. Some don’t even train aviation English. Google ”Chinese pilot in New York” and enjoy or be scared.

 

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