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10 top-performing airlines in the world

Last updated on: July 17, 2012 11:42 IST

10 top-performing airlines in the world

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Smaller and niche carriers dominate Aviation Week's latest Top-Performing Airlines study this year. Of the top 10 carriers overall, only one comes from the category of airlines with annual revenues greater than $6 billion. Three are from the mid-size tier with revenues between $2 billion and $6 billion, and six have revenues of less than $2 billion. In every region, the smaller airlines are upstaging the giants.

Let's have a look at the 10 top-performing airlines in the world.

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Image: Let's have a look at the 10 top-performing airlines in the world.
Photographs: Keith Bedford/Reuters

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AirAsia

Global rank: 1

AirAsia Berhad is a Malaysian-based low-cost airline. AirAsia is Asia's largest low-fare, no-frills airline and a pioneer of low-cost travel in Asia. AirAsia group operates scheduled domestic and international flights to over 400 destinations spanning 25 countries.

Its main hub is the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Its affiliate airlines Thai AirAsia, Indonesia AirAsia and AirAsia Philippines have hubs in Suvarnabhumi Airport, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and Clark International Airport respectively.

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Image: AirAsia tops the list.
Photographs: Tim Chong/Reuters

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Air Arabia

Global rank: 2

Air Arabia is a low-cost airline with its head office in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

The airline is the first and largest low-cost airline in the Middle East, Air Arabia operates scheduled services to 46 destinations in the Middle East, North Africa, the Subcontinent, Central Asia and Europe to 22 countries from Sharjah, 11 destinations in 10 countries from Casablanca and five destinations in five countries from Alexandria, Egypt.

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Image: Air Arabia is a Sharjah-based airline.
Photographs: Ilya Naymushin/Reuters

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Ryanair

Global rank: 3

Ryanair is an Irish ultra low-cost airline. Its headquarters is located at Dublin Airport with its primary operational bases at Dublin and London Stansted Airports.

Ryanair operates over 290 Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The airline has been characterised by rapid expansion, a result of the deregulation of the aviation industry in Europe in 1997 and the success of its low-cost business model.

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Image: Ryanair is a Dublin-based low-cost airline.
Photographs: David Moir/Reuters

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Hainan Airlines

Global rank: 4

Hainan Airlines is an airline headquartered in the HNA Development Building in Haikou, Hainan, China. It is the largest privately-owned air transport company and the fourth-largest airline in terms of fleet size in China.

It operates scheduled domestic and international services on 500 routes from Hainan and nine locations on the mainland, as well as charter services.

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Image: Hainan is a China-based airline.
Photographs: Will Burgess/Reuters

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Allegiant Air

Global rank: 5

Allegiant Air is an American low-cost airline owned by Allegiant Travel that operates scheduled and charter flights.

Allegiant Travel Company is a publicly traded company with 1,300 employees and one billion dollar market capitalisation. The corporate headquarters is in Enterprise, Nevada, near Las Vegas.

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Image: Allegiant Air is Las Vegas based.
Photographs: Michael Fiala/Reuters

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TransAsia Airways

Global rank: 6

TransAsia Airways is an airline based in Datong District, Taipei, Taiwan. It mainly serves the domestic market but also has limited scheduled and charter international services to China, East Asia and Southeast Asia destinations.

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Image: TransAsia Airways is based in Taipei, Taiwan.
Photographs: Pichi Chuang/Reuters

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Vueling Airlines

Global rank: 7

Vueling Airlines is a low-cost airline based in El Prat de Llobregat, near Barcelona, Spain, where it maintains its main operating base.

There are seven additional bases at Amsterdam, Bilbao, Madrid, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Seville, Toulouse and Valencia. Vueling serves destinations in Europe and the western Mediterranean.

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Image: Vueling Airlines is Spain-based.
Photographs: Gustau Nacarino/Reuters

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Copa Airlines

Global rank: 8

Compania Panamena de Aviacion, operating as Copa Airlines, is an airline based in Panama City, Panama, and serves as Panama's flag carrier.

Its main base of operations is Tocumen International Airport, and the airline currently offers more than 280 daily scheduled flights to 64 destinations in 29 countries in North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean with a fleet of 80 airplanes.

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Image: Copa Airlines is Brazil based.
Photographs: Edgard Garrido/Reuters

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Singapore Airlines

Global rank: 9

Singapore Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Singapore. Singapore Airlines operates a hub at Changi Airport and has a strong presence in the Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, and 'Kangaroo Route' markets.

The company also operates trans-Pacific flights, including the world's two longest non-stop commercial flights from Singapore to Newark and Los Angeles on the Airbus A340-500.

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Image: Singapore Airlines operates a hub at Changi Airport.
Photographs: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

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WestJet Airlines

Global rank: 10

WestJet Airlines is a Canadian low-cost carrier that provides scheduled and charter air service to 76 destinations in Canada, the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Founded in 1996, it is currently the second-largest Canadian air carrier, behind Air Canada, operating an average of 425 flights and carrying over 45,000 passengers per day.

In 2010, WestJet carried over 15 million passengers, making it the 10-largest airline in North America by passengers carried.


Image: WestJet Airlines is Canada based.
Photographs: Andy Clark/Reuters

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