American Airlines Is The Biggest In The World Again, Here Are The Top 10

American Airlines is once again the biggest airline in the world by seats flown, retaking the title from Delta according to OAG.

The four largest airlines in the world by seats being flown right now are all U.S. carriers. The Chinese entrants though have all grown substantially week-over-week, especially China Southern and China Eastern, a function of Chinese New Year travel.

Seven of the ten largest airlines in the world by capacity are in the U.S. or China, with the others sprinkled across India, Japan and Latin America.

Here’s the full list:

Airline Jan 2020 This Week Vs Last Week Vs. 2020
American              4,806,847        2,911,069 3.0% -39.4%
Delta              4,532,316        2,903,831 2.7% -35.9%
Southwest              3,788,421        2,105,320 0.9% -44.4%
United              3,537,983        1,959,707 4.3% -44.6%
China Southern              2,877,703        1,892,091 71.4% -34.2%
China Eastern              2,715,809        1,794,091 49.6% -33.9%
IndiGo              1,813,944        1,538,070 1.3% -15.2%
Air China              1,881,825        1,055,843 13.9% -43.9%
ANA              1,374,436           911,093 1.0% -33.7%
LATAM              1,870,132           810,158 2.9% -56.7%

It’s interesting to see Southwest Airlines bigger than United, but United has traditionally relied heavily on international flying which is scaled back far more than domestic due to travel restrictions.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Of course, scheduled seats right now mean nothing given the massive cancellations in Texas that have persisted for a week.
    There will be huge weather-related charges and revenue declines for all of the airlines that have large Texas operations – AA, UA and WN.

  2. Staggeringly amazing as American is one of the worst airlines in the world……certainly the worst mainline carrier by a massive margin. Just goes to show you that US fliers are motivated by nothing other than price. With all the government bailouts and pay they have taken from their employees…..American can afford to undercut the competition while paying their C levels the big bucks and bonuses! Too bad the public can’t be bothered to pay a bit more and vote with their wallet’s so that everyone can have a better airline experience in the US.

  3. To equalize for longer flights, this really needs to be ASMs, not just seats. A SWA HOU-DAL flight counts the same here as a UA IAH-BOG.

  4. I completely agree with Ryan Waldron’s comment. I recently had the worse experience in my 52 yrs of flying as a passenger. It was with American Airlines. Delayed flights due to no co-pilot, cancelled flights last minute with no regards to passengers, mechanical issues due to unpreparedness (first flight of the morning and missing part) someone had to drive round trip from Orange County to LA and back to pick up a part. Why didn’t they send someone from LA and save 1/2 the time? Then delayed due to not enough fuel. By the time they got fuel, it was weather. When weather cleared after several hours, they decided to cancel 2 flights to same location within 15 mins and combine everyone to a different flight that arrived to different airport. There’s so much more.

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