Market share of the leading airline alliances 2018

Based on available seat kilometers, the airline alliance with the highest market share in 2018 was Star Alliance with 21.7 percent of the global market. However, non-aligned airlines as a whole still comprised a higher share of the global market with 46.6 percent.

Airline alliances

Airline alliances are agreements for substantial cooperation between two or more airlines. The most common forms of cooperation are: codesharing flights, allowing an airline to extend its reach; joint marketing activities; and shared operational resources. In principle, airline alliances are intended to create economies of scale which lower costs for all parties and improve the choice of destinations for travelers. And the three main global alliances - Star Alliance, Sky Team and Oneworld – all create massive economies of scale, with each having combined member revenues of over 140 billion U.S. dollars in 2018.

The future of airline alliances

Despite their current prominence, the future of airline alliances is not certain. In a 2016 survey, airline executives stated they though it possible that joint ventures may replace alliances in the near future. One reason many analysts have provided for this, is the way alliances can constrain opportunities for member airlines. Some airlines will be larger than others, such as the full-cost U.S. carriers in each of Star Alliance, SkyTeam and Oneworld. Larger airlines have more power within the alliance, and can, for example, prevent other members for expanding into their home market. However, this position of seniority also means they are not subject to the same constraints, creating an uneven playing field.

Leading airline alliances in 2018, by market share*

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Release date

August 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Data is based on available seat kilometers.

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Statistics on "Airline alliances"

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