Emirates is close to overtaking American Airlines and becoming the third largest airline by available seat kilometres (ASKs) after the Dubai-based carrier's massive 19% increase in capacity over the last year. Emirates' current capacity is close to 30% above levels of just two years ago, according to Innovata. Over the same period, American has cut capacity by about 8% while larger rivals United Airlines and Delta Air Lines have slashed ASKs by over 16%, according to Innovata. Interestingly, were American Airlines to combine with US Airways it would become the world's biggest airline - some 4% larger than Delta by ASKs based on Innovata capacity figures for Aug-2012.
The other big movers over the past two years include Ryanair, which has leapfrogged China Southern and US Airways into the Top 10, and Turkish Airlines, which has soared into 17th position (from 27th two summers ago) thanks to an astonishing 52% increase in ASKs. easyJet has also moved up several places to be just outside the Top 20, while Japan's ANA and JAL have fallen outside the top 20 grouping.