Size matters! 11 airlines with the largest fleets in the world!


Posted by: Joshua-Philip Okeafor

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It takes many aircraft to keep the 4.3 billion passengers that fly each year in the air. Now, discover the 11 biggest airline giant fleets of them all.

Air travel is still the safest mode of travel today, recording 0.07 deaths per one billion passenger miles. It's no wonder airlines keep increasing fleet size to meet global demand. Naijauto serves you these 11 largest airlines by fleet size in the world:


Airlines need to update fleets frequently 

1) American Airlines. Country: USA

American Airlines is really a merger of three airlines: American airlines, US Airways and American West, which together make it the largest airline on earth. This is true whether you measure by fleet size or by revenue. Popularly called simply "American", the airline services 350 destinations around the world. American airline has 956 aircraft in its fleet, which are made by the world's biggest aircraft manufacturers, McDonnel Douglas, Airbus, Embraer, and aircraft manufacturing colossus, Boeing. American's total fleet size measures some 1,545 planes when you count in the assets of its partners worldwide, which include British Airways and Japan Airlines. American airlines flew 199.6 million passengers in 2017.  The airline has 122,300 employees. Its global headquarters is in Fort Worth.


American airlines group is number 1 in fleet size

2) Delta Airlines. Country: USA

Typically known as just Delta, the air giant has been around for a long time and keeps growing stronger. It is the oldest airline in the USA. Delta operates in 54 countries in 6 continents, flying passengers to 335 destinations as at 2016. Delta airlifted 186.4 million passengers in 2017. Its 867 aircrafts strong fleet makes it the second largest airline in the world, measuring by fleet size alone. When you add the fleet of its partners, that number jumps to 1330. In addition the Atlanta, United States based major airline company is the largest airline in the world, measuring by capitalization and the value of assets. Delta airlines employs 86, 564 people around the world. The majority of its large fleet has the world’s most reliable aircraft manufacturers as the designers. They include Boeing, Airbus, and McDonnell Douglas. Delta has many large bodied aircrafts amongst its fleet such as the 717, 757, and 767. It also favors the purchase of used aircrafts as a cost effective way to cheaply increase fleet size.


Delta is the USA's 2nd biggest airline by fleet size

3) United Airlines. Country: USA

Once again the United States proves its dominance of the airline business globally by providing the third largest airline on this list. Headquartered in Chicago, USA, United is one of the USA’s and the world’s largest airline groups. United is a great believer in the Boeing brand and most of its fleet bears the distinctive Boeing logo. Its 750 aircrafts include Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767, and 787 aircrafts. United Airlines also counts Airbus manufactured planes in its fleet. Along with regional and international partners, the total number of planes available to United climbs to 1245 aircrafts. The airline services 342 destinations that are spread over 60 countries. 148 million passengers flew this airline in 2017.


United loves the Boeing brand

4) Southwest Airlines. Country: USA

As at 2016, Southwest Airlines operated in 101 destinations in 9 countries, including the USA. Based in Dallas, Texas it has a large fleet of 720 planes. Most of Southwest’s aircraft are of Boeing manufacture and it is the biggest flier of the Boeing 737 aircraft across the world. Southwest airlines flew 157.8 million passengers in 2017.


The Boeing 737 is one of Southwest Airline's most used aircraft

5) China Southern Airlines. Country: China

China’s first entrant to the big airline stakes comes in at a respectable number 5. The airline company is based in Baiyun District, Guangzhou, China. China Southern goes to 224 destinations and operates a fleet of 700 aircrafts in 40 countries.  The Airbus A380 is China Southern’s premier long haul aircraft. 126.3 million Passengers flew China Southern in 2017. China Southern Airlines is a member of the Sky Team Air Alliance. It employs 96,000 people.


China Southern is the 5th largest airline by number of planes

6) FedEx Express. Country: USA

FedEx Express is not a normal passenger airline but still is owns the 6th largest fleet in the world with 650 aircrafts. FedEx is the world’s largest cargo airline.  FedEx services 375 destinations across much of the globe. The company is based in Tennessee, USA.   


FedEx is not a passenger airline but deals in airfreight

Air Nugget: World’s safest airline as at January, 2018

  • EVA AIR.


Air travel is the safest mode of travel in the world

7) China Eastern Airlines. Country: China

China Eastern is the second largest airline in China by fleet size. It has 499 planes in its fleet. 110.8 million Passengers in 2017 flew China Eastern to ??? destinations.


China Eastern is the second largest airline in the country

7) Ryanair. Country: Ireland

Ryanair has a fleet of 443 aircraft from a diverse selection of aircraft manufacturers like Boeing, Mitsubishi, and Airbus. This Ireland based airline operates in 225 flight destinations across Europe and the world. Ryanair airlifted 130.3 million passengers in 2017.


Ryanair is a regional leader in Europe

8) Air China. Country: China

Air China is China’s official national airline. It services 420 air routes in China and internationally. International destinations are 101 in number. Its fleet size is 412 aircrafts drawn from Comac, Boeing, and Airbus. 101.6 million passengers flew Air China  in 2017. It employs 7,858 persons.


Air China is China's national air carrier

10) Air Canada. Country: Canada

Air Canada is the national carrier of Canada. It owns 404 aircrafts in its fleet. It services 2017 destinations worldwide. Its fleet is made up of planes of Embraer, Airbus, and Boeing manufacture.


Air Canada is the official airline in Canada

11) Turkish Airlines. Country: Turkey

This airline is goes to 304 destinations regularly. It is Turkey’s national airline and owns a fairly large fleet f some 330 aircrafts. Most of its aircrafts are of Airbus and Boeing manufacture.


Turkish Airlines has over 300 planes in its fleet

10 biggest air fleets in the world (2018)

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Joshua-Philip Okeafor
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Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Car buying & selling

Joshua, or KK as friends call him, is a Filmmaker, Writer and Director. A Christian, Joshua is a product of Nigeria’s foremost film school, the National Film Institute, Jos, where he majored in Writing/Directing. Joshua began his writing career at age 18 when an older brother gave him a four page outline of a children novel. Joshua intends to keep writing and directing. His screen name is sometimes Joshua Kalu Ephraim (Writing), and sometimes Joshua KK (directing).


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