15 Airlines With the Largest Number of Aircraft

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Over the last few years, air travel has been experiencing steady growth and several airlines have come up to be the main players in this business.

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In order to meet the demand for a high number of passengers, airlines have seen it fit to have accommodating fleets of aircraft. The U.S based American Airlines boasts the largest airline in the world followed closely by China.

To be precise, US’s American Airline has 956 aircraft and when combined with other American’s top three, they make more than 2600 aircraft. The top three aircraft in China have more than 1500 aircraft and in Africa, Ethiopia Airline’s fleet is the largest with 108 aircraft.

The number can go on and on but here are the top 15 airlines with the largest number of aircraft. Checkout our list of car brands and their logos.

Table of Contents

1. American Airlines

American Airlines
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United States’ American Airlines is the largest airline in the world. It serves close to 200 million passengers annually and offers nearly 6500 daily flights to more than 350 destinations around the world.

Besides, United States’ American Airlines operates a fleet of 956 airlines spread across McDonnell, Airbus, Embraer, and Boeing and no wonder it’s the largest.

2. Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines
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Delta Airlines serves close to 183.7 million passengers annually which makes it the second largest airline in the world. It is headquartered in one of the busiest airports globally and the busiest airport in the US called the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Delta Air Lines flies to six continents and is well-known for its operation of a fleet of 876 aircraft from Boeing, Airbus, and McDonnell Douglas.

3. United States’ United Airlines

United Airlines is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. It serves close to 143.2 million passengers annually, flies to 325 destinations and has a fleet size of 763 aircraft from Airbus and Boeing.

4. United Continental Holdings

United Continental Holdings
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United Continental Holdings (UAL) was established in 2010 as a result of the merger between Continental Airlines and United Airlines. Over the years, the airline has had an increase in both the revenue and passengers served.

To be precise, UAL served nearly 148 million passengers in 2017 and registered revenue of $37.73bn. Today, it operates over 4500 flights daily to 354 destinations across the world and has a fleet size of 750 aircraft.

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5. United States’ Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines
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FILE PHOTO: A number of grounded Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft are shown parked at Victorville Airport in Victorville, California, U.S., March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

Southwest Airlines was established in 1966 and has had exceptional growth in fleet size and passengers served annually. It flies to 99 destinations in 40 states and operates Boeing 737 jetliner models and has a fleet size of 740 aircraft.

6. Lufthansa

Lufthansa is headquartered in Germany. The group’s business is divided into three sections; Point-to-Point Airlines, Network Airline, and Aviation Services. It flies to 308 destinations in 103 countries worldwide and boasts a fleet size of 728 aircraft.

7. China’s China Southern Airlines

This is a Chinese airline that dates back in 1998 and today, it’s the largest airline in China on the basis of the fleet, revenue, and passengers served. It operates in 35 countries and makes more than 2000 flights to 208 destinations and boats a fleet size of 603 aircraft.

8. Air France-KLM

Air France-KLM was established in 2004 after Air France merged with KLM, hence the name Air France-KLM. This airline has been increasing year after year both in revenue and passengers served.

In 2017, the airline served a total of 98.7 million passengers and registered revenue of $29.06bn. It flies to 314 destinations in a total of 116 countries and boasts a fleet size of 552 aircraft.

9. International Airlines Group (IAG)

IAG is headquartered in London and its primary airlines are in the UK, Ireland, and Spain. It serves close to 105 million passengers annually and in 2017, the airline registered $27.51bn revenue. It flies to 268 destinations and boasts a fleet size of 547 aircraft.

10. China’s China Eastern Airlines

China Eastern Airlines is without a doubt China’s second busiest airline serving close to 80.9 million people annually. It flies to 217 destinations and boasts a fleet size of 526 aircraft from Boeing, Airbus, and Comac.

11. Ireland’s Ryanair

Ryanair is the largest European airline worldwide and a budget airline in Ireland. It flies to 225 destinations across 34 countries particularly in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and has a fleet size of 443 aircraft from Boeing, Airbus, and Mitsubishi.

12. China’s Air China

China's Air China
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The national carrier of China flies to 201 destinations with a fleet size of 412 aircraft from Boeing, Airbus, and Comac.

13. United States’ FedEx Airlines

So far so good, FedEx Airline is the first cargo airline to feature on our list of top 15 airlines with the largest number of aircraft. It is actually the largest Cargo airline in the world and flies to more than 375 destinations. It operates a fleet size of 389 aircraft from Boeing, Airbus, and McDonnell Douglas.

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14. Turkey’s Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airline is the largest airline in Eastern Europe and has been in existence for 85 years now. It flies to 304 destinations and boasts a fleet size of 330 aircraft spread across Boeing and Airbus.

15. Emirates Group

Our list of top 15 airlines with the largest number of aircraft would be incomplete without Emirates Group that has been hitting our headlines over the past few years.

In 2017, this airline served 58.5 million people across its global network and registered $27.9bn revenue. In 1985, Emirates Group started its operation with two aircraft and today, it operates 265 aircraft and flies to 155 destinations in over 80 countries.

Bottom line

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is responsible for the ranking of Airlines and considers different factors such as supply and demand for air transport, and performance of the airline industry. The above list of 15 airlines with the largest number of aircraft contains facts.

However, it’s worth mentioning that airlines are changing day after the other and new aircraft are being delivered all over the world so keep checking as the number is liable to change.

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Kingsley Felix
Based in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. I am the founder of Krafty Sprouts Media, LLC (US), i make sure thing run smoothly and well organized in our organization.Follow me on my social media platforms.
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