Leading airlines with the biggest fleet size 2019

This statistic illustrates the leading airlines in the world in terms of aircraft fleet as of the week commencing June 17, 2019. American Airlines was the airline with the biggest fleet size, with over 1,300 aircraft in its fleet during that period.

The aviation market in the U.S.

The United States experienced a flourishing growth of the aviation industry throughout the 20th century. This expansion of the aviation market continued at a positive pace since the beginning of 2000s. For example, the number of air traffic passengers traveling to or from the United States increased by roughly 100 million passengers between 2006 and 2018, reaching approximately 244 million passengers. From 2007 to 2019, the U.S. air traffic passenger-miles increased, reaching 762 billion passenger-miles in 2019. There are many airline groups in the U.S., many of which are world leaders. As of May 2020, Delta Air Lines had over 16 billion U.S. dollars in market value. It is interesting to observe that the second and third largest airlines by market value were Southwest and Ryanair globally. Nonetheless, low-cost carriers are not in the list of leading airlines by brand value because the brand value is determined mostly by the satisfaction of a corporation’s stakeholders, such as passengers, punctuality and many other factors. This is because low-cost carriers cannot satisfy, for instance, the passenger experience as good as traditional carriers due to the cost-minimizing strategies from which customers benefit.

Changing dynamics in the aviation market

Through multitude efficiency-maximizing and cost-minimizing strategies, low-cost carriers (LCCs) are becoming the leading market participants in global aviation. Southwest, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines are leading in North America based on the number of passengers in 2019. Due to high attractive fare prices, travelers have a high incentive to fly with LCCs and save money for different purposes. Between the fiscal year 2010 and 2019, the operating revenue of Southwest Airlines increased from 12 billion U.S. dollars to 22 billion U.S. dollars. In terms of market share, low-cost carriers increased globally in the overall aviation market, squeezing the traditional aviation. The global market size of the LCCs is forecasted to reach roughly 247 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. This suggests an exponential rate of increase, higher than the overall aviation market size . Thus, implying a high growth in the market share of LCCs.

Top global airlines in 2019, by fleet size*

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Release date




Survey time period

as of the week commencing June 17, 2019

Supplementary notes

* Values are as as of the week commencing June 17, 2019.

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Statistics on "Passenger airlines worldwide"

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