Passenger kilometers flown by airline worldwide 2018

The three largest U.S. full-cost carriers sit atop the list of passenger kilometers (RPKs) flown worldwide in 2018, with American Airlines just managing to reach top spot with 330.58 billion RPKs. Close behind was Delta with 330.03 billion, followed by United Airlines with 329.56 RPKs.

Revenue passenger kilometers

Revenue passenger kilometers (or revenue passenger miles, in some territories) are a measure of passenger demand in a given market. They are calculated by multiplying the number of revenue-paying passengers aboard an aircraft by the distance the aircraft traveled. Often RPKs are compared to available seat kilometers (ASKs), which are the number of seats available for sale on an aircraft multiplied by the distance flown. ASKs effectively measure supply in a given market, with the goal of airlines being to match their ASKs offered (655389) with their RPKs flown.

Airline metrics

Across most airline industry metrics the large full-cost U.S. airlines dominate. Looking at only the number of passengers flown, American and Delta again sit in first and second place, with U.S. low-cost carrier Southwest coming in third just ahead of United. Revenue figures tells a similar story, but with German national carrier Lufthansa replacing Southwestern. However, when considering the number of airport pairs served, all the U.S. carriers are beaten out by Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair, who serve nearly 50 percent more airport pairs than American Airlines.

Leading airlines worldwide in 2018, by passenger kilometers flown*

Exclusive Premium statistic

You need a Single Account for unlimited access.

  • Full access to 1m statistics

  • Incl. source references

  • Available to download in PNG, PDF, XLS format

Single Account

only $59 / month *
*Duration: 12 months, billed annually, single license

Access to this and all other statistics on 80,000 topics from

$708 / Year

Show detailed source information?
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in

Release date




Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Total scheduled and non-scheduled services
** Lufthansa Group: Lufthansa Airlines, Germanwings, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Sun Express and Lufthansa Cargo

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.
This statistic is not included in your account!

Single Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references

$59 / Month *

Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract.
   Prices do not include sales tax.

Statistics on "Air France KLM"

Further Content: You might find this interesting as well

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.