My Account Menu

CAPA Login


Register to trial CAPA Membership!

Air China tops airline Enterprise Value rankings; Delta second; no LCCs in top 10

16-Mar-2011

It would appear China has already reached its aim of creating a world-beating "super carrier" – at least in terms of financial size. Air China is by far the world’s biggest airline, based on a current ranking of listed airlines’ Enterprise Values (EV) assembled by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

Based on data from Bloomberg, EV incorporates equity plus debt funding, thereby capturing the full financial size of the company. Last week, CAPA reviewed the market capitalisations (ie the equity valuations) of the world’s listed airlines, which again was headed by Air China.

See related reports:

Who is the greatest of them all?

The combined EV of the world’s listed airlines is USD361 billion. They operate a combined fleet of some 10,170 aircraft. Utilising the worldwide airline fleet as a basis for extrapolation, the EV of the global airline industry is just over USD1 trillion.

Air China’s EV of USD31.8 billion is some 52% higher than second biggest Delta.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) ranks second on market cap, but 15th on EV. Its market cap exceeds its EV by some USD3.7 billion, reflecting the fact that SIA is sitting on a mountain of cash – with net cash of some SGD7.3 billion (USD5.7 billion) – and a small debt load of just SGD2.1 billion (USD1.6 billion).

China Eastern, previously the target of a strategic partnership from SIA, has strong rankings on both market cap and EV scores. China Southern also features prominently.

LAN has a slightly larger EV than Lufthansa, while Hainan Airlines ranks higher than the world’s biggest LCC, Southwest Airlines, on this score.

Indeed, Southwest is the only LCC in the Top 15 listed airlines by EV. Ryanair ranks 17th - well ahead of easyJet, which is the world’s 35th largest listed carrier by this measure.

IAG (BA-Iberia) is slightly bigger than Air France-KLM at USD15.7 billion and USD15.1 billion, respectively, while Korean Air is a larger entity than United Continental.

Cathay Pacific out-ranks Singapore Airlines, which in turn tops Qantas on the EV measure.

AirAsia’s EV is USD1.7 billion greater than rival Malaysia Airlines, while GOL edges out TAM.

Indian carrier Jet Airways has a significantly higher EV than market cap, given the large debt component.

Of course, size is not everything. It is what an airline does with its assets that counts – the profits it generates. It must also be remembered that airlines do use a lot of off-balance sheet financing that can influence ratios such as EVs.

But the rankings do reflect the considerable progress that Asia Pacific airlines, particularly mainland Chinese carriers, have made in recent years as they grow their operations.

Enterprise Values (EV) and market capitalisations of the world’s leading listed airlines: USD millions

 

EV
(USDm)

EV Rank

Market Cap 
(USDm)

Market Cap Rank

Business Model

Air China

31,790

1

18,990

1

Full service

Delta Air Lines

20,880

2

8470

10

Full service

China Southern

20,440

3

10,540

3

Full service

China Eastern

18,080

4

9200

4

Full service

All Nippon Airways

17,210

5

8800

8

Full service

IAG (BA-Iberia)

15,690

6

6850

13

Full service

Air France-KLM

15,120

7

4870

16

Full service

Korean Air Lines

15,100

8

3920

17

Full service

United Continental

14,590

9

7400

11

Full service

Cathay Pacific

12,440

10

9090

7

Full service

LAN Airlines

11,860

11

9120

6

Full service

Lufthansa

11,780

12

9160

5

Full service

Hainan Airlines

9810

13

5030

15

Full service

Southwest Airlines

9310

14

8650

9

LCC

Singapore Airlines

8970

15

12700

2

Full service

American Airlines

8860

16

2150

29

Full service

Ryanair

8450

17

6990

12

LCC

Qantas Airways

7550

18

5340

14

Full service

Thai Airways

6700

19

2740

22

Full service

China Airlines

6680

20

2920

20

Full service

Asiana Airlines

4860

22

1570

33

Full service

EVA Airways

4760

23

2560

24

Full service

AirAsia

4350

25

2240

28

LCC

Aeroflot

4310

26

2920

21

Full service

Turkish Airlines

4300

27

2600

23

Full service

US Airways

4040

28

1290

35

Full service

JetBlue

3800

30

1610

32

LCC

Jet Airways

3800

29

855

42

Full service

GOL

3490

24

3470

18

LCC

TAM

3350

21

3340

19

Full service

Air Canada

3260

31

814

44

Full service

Copa

2990

32

2280

26

Full service

Republic Airways

2750

33

298

60

Full service

Malaysia Airlines

2640

34

2040

30

Full service

easyJet

2550

35

2470

25

LCC

Alaska Air

2500

36

2030

31

Full service

SAS

2220

37

1090

37

Full service

WestJet

2080

38

2270

27

LCC

Skywest USA

2030

39

854

43

Regional

Pakistan Int'l Airlines

1830

40

72

75

Full service

Virgin Blue

1820

41

774

47

LCC

Garuda Indonesia

1730

42

1310

34

Full service

AirTran

1550

43

990

40

LCC

Shandong Airlines

1450

44

768

48

Full service

Cebu Pacific

1380

45

1250

36

LCC

Philippine Airlines

1360

46

656

51

Full service

Air New Zealand

1140

47

1030

38

Full service

Finnair

1120

48

795

45

Full service

Air Berlin

999

49

397

55

LCC

Norwegian

872

50

689

49

LCC

Tiger Airways

844

51

596

53

LCC

Skymark Airlines

808

52

994

39

Full service

El Al

755

53

192

65

Full service

Pinnacle Airlines

752

54

110

71

Regional

Allegiant

730

55

777

46

LCC

Jazz Air

684

56

672

50

Regional

Air Arabia

566

57

987

41

LCC

S7

518

58

165

67

Full service

Kenya Airways

495

59

220

62

Full service

Flybe

427

60

364

57

Regional

Jazeera Airways

410

61

92

74

LCC

Transasia Airways

404

62

325

58

Full service

SpiceJet

389

63

377

56

LCC

Aer Lingus

371

64

640

52

Full service

Croatia Airlines

295

65

147

68

Full service

Icelandair

289

66

192

64

Full service

Hawaiian

258

67

318

59

Full service

Royal Jordanian

206

68

179

66

Full service

Kuwait National

201

69

110

72

Full service

Air Mauritius

182

70

69

76

Full service

Regional Express

146

71

128

70

Regional

Dart Group (Jet2)

136

72

226

61

LCC

Vueling Airlines

120

73

422

54

LCC

Meridiana Fly

116

74

135

69

Full service

Cimber Sterling

111

75

24

78

LCC

Skywest Airlines Australia

97

76

96

73

Regional

Aegean Airlines

91

77

194

63

Full service

Cyprus Airways

64

78

22

79

Full service

Great Lakes Aviation

59

79

20

82

Regional

Baltia Air Lines

40

80

38

77

Full service

1time

21

81

21

80

LCC

Atlantic Airways

19

82

21

81

Regional


Want more analysis like this? CAPA Membership gives you access to all news and analysis on the site, along with access to many areas of our comprehensive databases and toolsets.
Find out more and take a free trial.