Author: The Travel Wolf

The Travel Wolf (a.k.a. John) is a freelance aviation/airline writer, frequent traveler and avid airline enthusiast. I feel most at home when I am 30,000 feet in the air and watching the clouds from above. I love the smell of jet exhaust in the morning!

World’s Largest Airlines In 2019

When talking about the biggest airlines in the world, physical size is not the sole determining factor—it’s merely just a part of the equation. If you keep scrolling, you’ll be able to see the most massive of them all in a total of nine categories, which include the number of passengers carried, fleet size or the number of aircrafts of similar model being operated by a certain airline, revenue, number of routes taken, destinations reached and countries served, and a few more interesting classifications!

Largest By Revenue

1. American Airlines Group (United States) – US$ 43 B

2. Delta Air Lines (United States) – US$ 42.1 B

3. Lufthansa (Germany) US$ 41.5 B

4. United Airlines (United States) US$ 38.3 B

5. Air France–KLM (France/ Netherlands) US$ 29.1 B

6. IAG (Spain/ UK) US$ 26 B

7. Southwest Airlines (United States) US$ 21.2 B

8. China Southern Airlines (China) US$ 19.7 B

9. All Nippon Airways (Japan) US$ 17.8 B

10. China Eastern Airlines (China) US$ 15.7 B

Largest by Passengers Carried

1. American Airlines Group (United States) – 199.6 M

2. Delta Air Lines (United States) – 186.4 M

3. Southwest Airlines (United States) – 157.8 M

4. United Airlines (United States) – 148.1 M

5. Ryanair (Ireland) – 130.3 M

6. Lufthansa Group (Germany) – 130 M

7. China Southern Airlines (China) – 126.3 M

8. China Eastern Airlines (China) – 110.8 M  

9. IAG (Spain/ UK) – 104.8 M                                                             

10. Air China Group (China) – 101.6 M

Largest By Scheduled Passenger-Kilometers Flown

Airline Holdings Group

1. American Airlines Group (United States) – 364,191 M

2. Delta Air Lines (United States) – 350,299 M

3. United Airlines Holdings (United States) – 347,963 M

4. The Emirates Group (United Arab Emirates) – 292,221 M

5. Lufthansa Group (Germany) – 261,156 M

6. International Airlines Group (Spain/UK) – 252,819 M

7. Air France–KLM (France/ Netherlands) – 248,476 M

8. China Southern Airlines (China) – 230,697 M

9. Southwest Airlines (United States) – 207,802 M

10. Air China (China) – 201,090 M

Individual Airlines

1. American Airlines (United States) – 330,577 M

2. Delta Air Lines (United States) – 330,034 M

3. United Airlines (United States) – 329,562 M

4. Emirates (United Arab Emirates) – 302,298 M

5. Southwest Airlines (United States) – 214,561 M

6. China Southern Airlines (China) – 200,239 M

7. Ryanair (Ireland) – 170,900 M                                

8. China Eastern Airlines (China) – 166,282 M                                              

9. Air China (China) – 161,199 M                                                         –

10. Lufthansa (Germany) / British Airways (United Kingdom) – 158,986 M

Largest By Scheduled Freight Ton-Kilometers

1. FedEx Express (United States) – 17,499 M

2. Emirates SkyCargo (United Arab Emirates) – 12,713 M

3. Qatar Airways Cargo (Qatar) – 12,695 M

4. UPS Airlines (United States) – 12,459 M

5. Cathay Pacific Cargo (Hong Kong) – 11,284 M

6. Korean Air Cargo (South Korea) – 7,839 M

7. Lufthansa Cargo (Germany) – 7,394 M

8. Cargolux (Luxembourg) – 7,322 M

9. Air China Cargo (China) – 7,051 M

10. China Southern Airlines (China) / Singapore Airlines Cargo (Singapore ) – 6,597 M

Largest By Fleet Size

1. American Airlines (United States) – 950

2. Delta Air Lines (United States) – 850

3. United Airlines (United States) – 745

4. Southwest Airlines (United States) – 697

5. China Southern Airlines (China) – 545

6. China Eastern Airlines (China) – 486

7. Ryanair (Ireland) – 413

8. Air China (China) – 392

9. FedEx Express (United States) – 371

10. Turkish Airlines (Turkey) – 329

Largest By Number Of Countries Served

1. Turkish Airlines (Turkey) – 121

2. Air France (France) – 91

3. British Airways (United Kingdom) – 82

4. Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopia) – 81

5. Emirates (United Arab Emirates) – 78

6. Qatar Airways (Qatar) – 78

7. Lufthansa (Germany) – 75

8. KLM (Netherlands) – 67

9. American Airlines (United States) / United Airlines (United States) – 62

10. Aeroflot (Russia) – 58

Largest By Number Of Routes

1. Ryanair (Ireland) – 1,831

2. American Airlines (United States) – 1,106

3. United Airlines (United States) – 950

4. easyJet (United Kingdom) – 945

5. Delta Air Lines (United States) – 939

6. Southwest Airlines (United States) – 754

7. China Southern (China) – 667

7. China Eastern (China) – 648

8. Wizz Air (Hungary) – 615

9. Air China (China) – 470

10. TUI Airways (United Kingdom) – 470

Largest By Number Of Destinations

1. UPS Airlines (United States) – 727

2. FedEx Express (United States) – 375

3. United Airlines (United States) – 373

4. American Airlines (United States) – 350

5. Delta Air Lines (United States) – 320

6. Turkish Airlines (Turkey) – 302

7. Lufthansa (Germany) – 274

8. China Eastern Airlines (China) – 217

9. Air France (France) – 204

10. Air China (China) – 201

Largest By Brand Value

1. American Airlines (United States) – US$ 9.094 B

2. Delta Air Lines (United States) – US$ 8.712 B

3. United Airlines (United States) – US$ 7.027 B

4. Emirates Airlines (United Arab Emirates) – US$ 5.336 B

5. Southwest Airlines (United States) – US$ 5.298 B

6. China Southern Airlines (China) – US$ 4.063 B

7. China Eastern Airlines (China) – US$ 3.81 B

8. British Airways (United Kingdom) – US$ 3.484 B

9. Air China (China) – US$ 3.433 B

10. Lufthansa (Germany) – US$ 2.914 B

Ural Airlines Airbus A-321 Crash Lands Into Russian Field

An Airbus A-321 operated by Ural Airlines (Flight U6-178) from Moscow Zhukovsky (Russia) to Simferopol (Russia) made a crash landing into a corn field less than 3 miles past the end of the runway in Moscow. The flight was carrying 226 passengers and 7 crew. All passengers and crew are reported safe, however 10 sustained some injuries from the landing.

The Ural Airlines aircraft departed from Moscow Zhukovsky and was climbing through 750 feet when the aircraft flew into a flock of birds and ingested birds into both engines. Both engines failed and one began emitting noises as if the engine was spooling up and down. The aircraft crew stopped the climb and attempted to land the aircraft in a cornfield with the landing gear retracted.

Once the aircraft made a successful crash landing into the cornfield, the passengers and crew evacuated via the emergency slides to safety on the ground. There were no fires, no leaking fuel, and no fatalities. Eight buses were sent to the crash site to transport the passengers back to Zhukovsky Airport.

Russian State Prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation.

Aftermath after landing
Passenger video of bird strike
Passenger video of landing

Norwegian Airlines Scales Back Transatlantic Routes

Scandinavian airline Norwegian is ending flights between Ireland and North America effective September 2019. The airline is blaming the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX for no longer making the routes commercially viable.

The low cost carrier will end all routes from Dublin, Cork, and Shannon to both the United States and Canada. This will take effect from September 15th, 2019.

Since the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX in early 2019, Norwegian has been stuck wet leasing aircraft from various operators to carry out these routes, and with the additional costs, these services are no longer viable to the airline.

Norwegian operated its first transatlantic flight from Ireland in June 2016 between Cork and Boston. The airline expanded rapidly and hit a peak in May 2018 with 11,000 two way seats between North America and Ireland.

The decision to terminate Ireland to North America flights will not affect the other long haul operations of the airline, as those flights are operated by the much larger Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet.

Hawaiian Airlines To Launch Maui-Las Vegas Flight

Hawaiian Airlines has announced its new four times weekly service between Maui Kahului Airport (OGG) and Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS). This service is scheduled to begin on December 15th, 2019.

This new flight will be operated using the brand new, state of the art, Airbus A321neo. The flight will feature a First Class and Economy cabin.

Schedule:

HA32 OGG-LAS D: 850pm A: 430am (M/W/F/Su)

HA31 LAS-OGG D: 630am A: 1100am (M/T/Th/Sa)

Hawaiian Airlines is also announcing two additional services with the new Airbus A321neo aircraft. These new services include nonstop flights between Honolulu (HNL) and Seattle (SEA) starting January 7th, 2020, as well as seasonal winter service between Maui (OGG) and Los Angeles (LAX) from December 14th, 2019 through January 5th, 2020.

Ultra Low Cost Airlines vs Legacy Airlines. Which Is Best?

A common question that our readers ask us is “Which airline is better? An Ultra Low Cost Airline or a Legacy Airline.”

The short answer we respond with is that is depends on both your budget and scheduling needs. I will compare both types of airlines and break down the differences between them.

S7 Flight Runs Off End Of Runway And Barely Takes Off

The passengers on board S7 Airlines flight S7-263 from Moscow Domodedovo (DME) to Simferopol are lucky to be alive after their Boeing 737-800 aircraft ran off the end of the runway before finally getting airborne on August 5th, 2019.

Once the flight became airborne it flew successfully to Simferopol where the landing was problem free, however, the flight could have ended in tragedy.

Russian investigators are still researching the cause of this near accident, but initial thoughts are pointing to a miscalculation by the crew for the takeoff weight. Sources online have noted that the 737 was 15 tonnes heavier than initially thought. They believe the crew may have mistakenly calculated the takeoff performance using zero fuel weight instead of the actual fuel weight (which makes up the 15 ton discrepancy).

After the incident in Domodedovo, an inspection of the runway was performed and revealed glass debris as well as 5 damaged runway lights. Once the flight landed in Simferopol, an inspection of the aircraft was carried out and found to have glass embedded in the landing gear as well as 3 damaged tires.

Mexican Airline InterJet Put Up For Sale

The owner of Mexican airline Interjet is putting the airline up for sale. Miguel Alemán Velasco announced plans to sell his airline to help settle the large debt it has acquired in recent years.

Overall the company is heading in a positive financial direction, however, some recent issues are causing massive issues for the company from an operational standpoint.

  • Rising oil prices
  • Airport payments
  • 22 Sukhoi Superjet Aircraft (only 5 of the 22 are operational)

Media reports have circulated about fellow Mexican carriers Volaris and Viva Aerobus preparing offers to buy the airline, however, Interjet has stated it is looking at a merger with an international airline.

The sale or merger of Interjet will not be an easy road due to its finances. Between heavy debt, loses of 500 million Pesos in 2018, and the rise in fuel prices, buying into Interjet is a risky proposition.

Source: Click here

United Cancels Mumbai Service Due To Iranian Threat

United Airlines is canceling it’s Newark (EWR) to Mumabi, India (BOM) route due to a recent ban placed on flights over the country of Iran as well as the Gulf of Oman and Strait of Hormuz.

This ultra long 15 hour nonstop flight between Newark and Mumbai is only possible with the ability to cross over Iranian airspace. Pakistan is situated next to Iran, however, their country also has a no-fly restriction at the moment due to tensions between India and Pakistan. Another alternative route would take the aircraft too close to Syria and Iraq. With no other viable alternative without adding a refueling stop, the decision was made to close the route altogether for the time being.

Airlines try to avoid fuel stops whenever possible due to the delay it could cause the flight, as well as the additional costs incurred by the airline and reduction in potential profits on the flight.

The United Airlines route between Newark and Mumbai is an important link, as Mumbai serves as the financial hub of India. The route typically carries businessmen and wealthier passengers. It’s a safe bet that United Airlines will resume the flight once tensions with Iran cool down, or the situation with Pakistan improves.

Until that time, passengers will need to connect through Europe to reach their Indian destination.

AZAL Azerbaijan Airlines Ending Flights From JFK to Baku

AZAL Azerbaijan Airlines operates flights twice per week from New York’s JFK airport nonstop to Baku Airport in Azerbaijan. The flights are operated on the Boeing 787 aircraft in a two class configuration. The last scheduled flight from JFK will depart on September 30th with service ceasing after that.

No official statement has been given by AZAL, but this information was confirmed by airline insiders as official. This news is unfortunate, as I had the opportunity to fly on AZAL from New York JFK to Baku to Moscow about 2 years ago, and the flight was phenomenal! The seating was comfortable, the entertainment was good, and the quantity and quality of the food was impressive, not to mention the cheap ticket price!

AZAL will surely be missed by some, as I know it was a preferred choice of mine for flights to and around Central Asia.

This post will be updated more once additional details are known.