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Delta now world’s largest carrier; Ryanair stays top international airline

8th June, 2011

Delta Air Lines became the world's largest carrier by traffic in 2010, according to IATA, with Southwest Airlines remaining the largest domestic carrier and Ryanair still the largest international carrier by passengers. Delta’s consolidation with Northwest Airlines boosted Delta past Southwest and American Airlines based on combined international and domestic passenger numbers.

Delta Air Lines handled 111.2 million scheduled (domestic and international) passengers in 2010, followed by Southwest (106.2 million) and American Airlines (86.1 million). China Southern Airlines was next largest, handling 76.1 million passengers in 2010, followed by Ryanair (71.2 million), as was the case in 2009. Meanwhile, Lufthansa overtook United Airlines for sixth place, and China Eastern Airlines entered the top 10 for the first time, at the expense of Continental Airlines. Air France rounded out the Top 10 list.  

IATA scheduled passenger (domestic and international) traffic rankings for 2010 and 2009

 

2009

(000s)

2010

(000s)

1

Southwest Airlines

101,338

Delta Air Lines

111,159

2

American Airlines

85,720

Southwest Airlines

106,228

3

Delta Air Lines

67,935

American Airlines

86,129

4

China Southern Airlines

65,959

China Southern Airlines

76,078

5

Ryanair

65,282

Ryanair

71,229

6

United Airlines

56,024

Lufthansa

56,693

7

Lufthansa

53,223

United Airlines

54,015

8

US Airways

50,975

US Airways

51,814

9

Air France

47,965

China Eastern Airlines

50,336

10

Continental

44,032

Air France

47,029

Ryanair remains largest international carrier, way ahead of Lufthansa and easyJet

Ryanair remained as the world’s largest international carrier, handling 71.2 million passengers in 2010. This equates to 60% more international passengers than the next largest carrier, which was Lufthansa with 44.5 million passengers. Ryanair’s international passengers were almost double that of easyJet  (37.7 million) and more than double Air France’s 30.9 million passengers. The ranking of the world’s top five airlines was the same as in 2009. 

Emirates Airlines, meanwhile, moved up to fifth place with 30.8 million passengers, overtaking British Airways with 22.8 million. KLM remained as the fifth largest international airline, with Delta Air Lines featuring in the list in 2010, at the expense of Singapore Airlines, which slipped out of the Top 10. American Airlines and Cathay Pacific rounded out the Top 10.

IATA international scheduled passenger traffic rankings for 2010 and 2009

 

2009

 

2010

 

1

Ryanair

65,282

Ryanair

71,229

2

Lufthansa

41,515

Lufthansa

44,460

3

easyJet

34,593

easyJet

37,665

4

Air France

31,256

Air France

30,882

5

British Airways

27,844

Emirates

30,848

6

Emirates

25,921

British Airways

26,320

7

KLM

22,333

KLM

22,787

8

American Airlines

19,514

Delta Air Lines

21,029

9

Cathay Pacific Airways

18,102

American Airlines

20,356

10

Singapore Airlines

16,322

Cathay Pacific Airways

19,723

US and Chinese carriers are the world’s largest domestic airlines

Southwest Airlines was the largest domestic carrier in 2010, with 106.2 million passengers, ahead of Delta Air Lines (90.1 million) and China Southern Airlines (90.1 million). American Airlines, US Airways and United Airlines also remained significnat domestic carriers, with the remaining carriers based in Asia. All of China’s Big Three carrier’s featured in the list, as did All Nippon Airways, now Japan’s largest domestic and international carrier, and Qantas Airways.

IATA scheduled domestic passenger traffic rankings for 2010

 

2010

(000s)

1

Southwest Airlines

106,225

2

Delta Air Lines

90,130

3

China Southern Airlines

71,158

4

American Airlines

65,773

5

US Airways

45,530

6

United Airlines

44,390

7

China Eastern Airlines

42,754

8

Air China

39,846

9

All Nippon Airways

38,907

10

Qantas Airways

31,288

Emirates remains largest carrier by international traffic (RPKs)

Emirates remained the world's largest carrier measured by international traffic (RPKs) for the second consecutive year, ahead of Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines although Air France-KLM would have ranked first if its two operating units were combined. Domestically, only US and Chinese carriers rated in the top 10 list, led by Delta Air Lines. Southwest and JetBlue were the only two LCCs featuring.

IATA scheduled traffic (RPKs) rankings for 2010

Cathay Pacific becomes world’s largest international cargo carrier

Cathay Pacific Airways was the largest international cargo carrier in 2010, ahead of Korean Air and Emirates with FedEx, UPS Airlines and China Southern Airlines the largest domestic freight carriers.

IATA Scheduled traffic (FTKs) rankings for 2010

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