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Industry trends, on the fly

on the fly: What are the top markets for the largest global airlines?

February 27, 2023

A look at key markets for some of the largest global airline groups

Analytics on the fly

on the fly: What are the top markets for the largest global airlines?


In our latest on the fly analysis, we examine a sample of some of the world’s largest global airline groups, all with big intercontinental networks. The biggest airline of this group is American, ranked by seats scheduled for the trailing 12 months. Based on an analysis using data from Diio by Cirium, American’s busiest airport is Dallas-Fort Worth, followed by Charlotte and Miami.

For most of these airlines, their largest market is also their home city, like American in DFW, Delta in Atlanta, Turkish Airlines in Istanbul, Emirates in Dubai, and so on. However, as we look deeper into the data, some surprises emerge. Chicago-based United now has more seats in Denver. Korean Air (including its prospective merger partner Asiana and several LCCs associated with the group) is busier in Jeju than at Seoul Incheon. Air India’s figures below likewise include data from its merger partners.

It is interesting to note how London and Bangkok are the biggest non-hub markets for both Emirates and Qatar Airways. Look at New York and Orlando’s importance to Virgin Atlantic. IAG, you’ll see, has heavy exposure to Spain. This hardly tells all you need to know about an airline’s network but focusing on the data around the three busiest airports can provide interesting insights.

NEXT ON THE FLY:   What are Air India’s leading international routes?

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