Airlines worldwide - total freight tonne-kilometers 2018

In 2018, Qatar Airways was the third leading airline worldwide based on system-wide freight tonne-kilometers with over 12 billion freight tonne-kilometers. That year, the German company Lufthansa transported freight on just under 7.4 billion tonne-kilometers.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is the national carrier of Qatar and based in Hamad International Airport. The company was established in 1993 with an initiative by the Qatari king family. The growth potential of the company spurred after 2010 and since then the air carrier demonstrated a strong corporate development. Additionally, Qatar Airways is the first air carrier from the Gulf countries to become a member of an airline alliance, namely the Oneworld. Between the fiscal year 2012 and fiscal year 2019, the total revenue of Qatar Airways increased steadily, reaching 48 billion Qatar Riyals. Since the company is based between two highly interconnected economic regions, Asia-Pacific and Europe, the company now uses the growth potential from air freight. For instance, the amount of cargo carried by Qatar Airways doubled in only five years, reaching 1.4 million tons in the fiscal year 2019. As of 2019, Qatar Airways was the best-rated airline worldwide. This ranking was based on the weighted ranking of time performance, quality of service and claim processing score.

Airline alliances

Airline alliance creates a type of guild between airline companies to facilitate their mutual cooperation. Thus, it aims at improving both the travelers’ experience and inter-airline connections for international travels. Becoming a member of an airline alliance can be highly advantageous as it provides access to the pool of other market leaders in the aviation market. Nonetheless, it is not an easy task to join an alliance since it is highly restricted under some jurisdictions because of competition and anti-trust regulations. Worldwide there are three airline alliances: Star Alliance, SkyTeam and Oneworld. Although becoming an airline alliance member could be highly beneficial, air carriers that are a member of an airline alliance make up only 53 percent of the global aviation market. Thus, non-aligned airlines hold roughly 47 percent of the market. In 2018, Star Alliance members held over 21 percent of the global market share. By revenue, Star Alliance members generated over 213 billion U.S. dollars during that same period.

Leading airlines worldwide by international and domestic freight tonne-kilometers in 2018

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Supplementary notes

* Data includes operations of Lufthansa CityLine and Lufthansa-marketed flights operated by Air Dolomiti, Eurowings, Germanwings, Privatair, Tyrolean Airways, AeroLogic.

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