Top 10 Airlines in the World 2016

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1. Delta Airlines

Topping this list is the Delta airlines, carrying 180 million customers every year.

Image: Wikimedia

It is the oldest airline still operating in USA and it operates the largest fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft carriers & was founded in 1924 as Huff Daland Dusters. This airline had a very humble beginning when it started to provide aerial crop dusting services, and it was purchased by Collett E.Woolman in 1928 who renamed it to Delta Air Service.


Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the current Delta Airlines is a result of many airlines mergers. It acquired Northwest airlines in 2008 to become the world’s largest airline at the time.

It provides air transportation for passengers and cargo across the globe. It operates it business in two segments: Airline and Refinery. While the former is responsible for transporting passengers and cargo the latter supplies aviation fuel to its carriers.

It is also the founding member of Sky team founded in 2000, an airline alliance that consists of 20 carriers and operates in 5 continents. It also has air service agreements with domestic regional air carriers. It allowed it to provide service to small and medium sized cities using the network of its partners. In 2015, the revenue related to these regional carrier traffic was approximately 17% of its passenger revenue.

It also has a wholly owned subsidiary, Monroe Energy that operates a refinery which supplies jet fuel to its airline operations. The current strategy of the company is to improve efficiency. It has focused on replacement of narrow body airplanes with wide body aircrafts that offer more seats thus reducing the cost per passenger. It has also started to replace all aircrafts older than 25 years with latest fuel efficient aircrafts.

Sales: $ 40.5 bn

Profit: $ 4.7 bn

Assets: $ 53.3 bn

Market Value: $ 34.4 bn

Fleet Size: 809

Destinations: 328

Passengers carried: 180 million

Company Slogan: Keep climbing

Ranking Methodology:

A list of 20 airline comapanies was taken and the companies are ranked according to their annual revenue, number of passengers, assets and profit in 2015. 

Different weightage is assigned to each of these parameters

Major weightage is given to passengers carried (50%), and revenue (40%), remaining 10% is distributed among assets and net profit

A composite score is calcuated based on this and the final ranking is given according to the composite score obtained for each airline.

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