11 Surprising Things I Learned About the World’s Airlines Today


Many of things I probably knew and yet digging through data still found them surprising.

  1. American Airlines has the second most aircraft on order (still!) of any airline in the world, behind only Indonesian low cost carrier Lion Air’s crazy order book of 433 planes compared to a current fleet of just over 100.
  2. Two of American’s three heaviest passenger routes are based at New York LaGuardia: New York LaGuardia – Chicago O’Hare and Miami.
    New York LaGuardia
  3. American has a greater share of capacity at their Dallas and Charlotte hubs than Delta has in Atlanta, Detroit, or Minneapolis.
  4. Delta’s average fleet age is over 17 years old.
  5. Southwest Airlines now has more seat capacity than United Airlines. So by one measure is now the third largest airline in the world. For the 12 months ended February Southwest is less than a million passengers carried per year behind United. And they’ve got just 11 fewer planes than United, too.
    Southwest Airlines Snack Basket
  6. The four largest airlines in the world by seat capacity are all based in the U.S. That’s been the result of significant industry consolidation over the past decade.
  7. Ryanair is the largest airline in Europe by seat capacity. They operate nearly twice as many routes as Southwest (and more than American or Delta).
  8. China Southern has the most seats on offer of any airline in Asia. Their focus is mostly domestic, carrying more than 4500 passengers a day between Guangzhou and Beijing on average (more than twice as many as Delta flies between Atlanta and New York LaGuardia).
  9. Turkish Airlines flies to 117 countries. (Air France serves the second-most countries at 90, and is followed by British Airways, Lufthansa, and then United at 70.)
    British Airways
  10. Lufthansa and Air France shrank year-over-year.
  11. 80% of Japan Airlines seat capacity is domestic.
READ  From Oldest to Youngest: The Average Fleet Age of the 10 Major U.S. Airlines

Source: OAG

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