There are several techniques used to determine the world’s biggest carriers. The various methods used are shown here for comparison purposes.
By Scheduled Passengers Carried (for 2009)
Number one would be Delta Air Lines with 161,049,000. At second place is Southwest Airlines with 101,339,000 passengers carried. American Airlines is the third biggest with 85,719,000.
At number four is United Airlines with a total of 81,421,000 carried. Lufthansa is the fifth biggest for 2009 with 76,543,000. Air France-KLM is at sixth place with 71,394,000.
The seventh biggest is China Southern Airlines with 66,280,000. At number eight is Ryanair with 65,300,000. The ninth biggest carrier is Continental Airlines with 62,809,000. At number ten is US Airways with 51,016,000.
By Scheduled International Passengers Carried
The world’s biggest carrier would be Ryanair with 66,500. At second place is Lufthansa with 55,589. Third place is occupied by EasyJet with 45,164. The fourth largest is Air France with 31,256. The fifth biggest is British Airways with 27,844 passengers.
Emirates is the sixth largest with 27,454. At number seven is Cathay Pacific with 24,558 passengers carried. KLM is the eighth largest with 22,333. American Airlines is at number nine with 19,514. The tenth spot is occupied by Singapore Airlines with 16,480.
Delta Air Lines is the largest with a fleet size of 726. Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines are tied at number two with 722. United Continental Holdings is at the third spot with a fleet size of 710. American Airlines is at number four with 625.
Air France-KLM is the fifth biggest with 564. Southwest Airlines is at the sixth spot with a fleet size of 550. US Airways is at number seven with 345. China Southern Airlines is the eighth biggest with 344. SkyWest Airlines is at number nine with 294. Air China is at number ten with 263.
By Fleet Size (Cargo Airlines)
FedEx Express is number one with 684. UPS Airlines is the second largest cargo airliner with 214. At number three is DHL Aviation with a total fleet size of 51. At number four is Cargolux with a total fleet of 16.
The world’s biggest carrier in terms of number of destinations is Delta Air Lines with 358. Number two is Continental Airlines with 287. American Airlines is at number three with 250 destinations. At number four is Air France with 245. United Airlines is at number five with 230.