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Biggest airlines in the world

Last updated on: April 23, 2012 12:48 IST

Image: Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a Nasa 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, flies over the Washington skyline.
Photographs: Robert Markowitz/Nasa/Handout/Reuters

There are many airlines in the world, some fly both domestic as well as international routes, while many concentrate only on domestic sector.

Let's take a look at some of the biggest airlines in the world based on capacity per week.

NOTE: Courtesy, Wikipedia and Centre for Aviation

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: Delta Airlines Airbus A319 at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.
Photographs: Tami Chappell/Reuters

Delta Air Lines

Capacity per week: 6,881,159,610

Global rank: 1

Delta Air Lines is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: American Airlines airliners sit near a hanger at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Texas.
Photographs: Tim Sharp/Reuters

American Airlines

Capacity per week: 5,037,480,928

Global rank: 2

American Airlines is the world's fifth-largest airline in passenger miles transported and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: United Airlines planes take off and land at San Francisco airport.
Photographs: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

United Air Lines

Capacity per week: 3,909,730,788

Global rank: 3

United Air Lines is an American airline, one of the world's largest airlines with 86,852 employees and operating the second-largest fleet with 702 aircraft.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: Emirates plane at Schoenefeld south of Berlin.
Photographs: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Emirates

Capacity per week: 3,893,288,968

Global rank: 4

Emirates is an airline based at Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the largest airline in the Middle East, operating over 2,500 flights per week, from its hub at Terminal 3, to 120 cities in 70 countries across six continents.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: A Lufthansa Airlines Airbus A319 plane prepares to land at Henri Coanda Airport in Otopeni, near Bucharest.
Photographs: Bogdan Cristel/Reuters

Lufthansa

Capacity per week: 3,499,360,635

Global rank: 5

Lufthansa is the flag carrier of Germany and the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried and fleet size.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: A Southwest Airlines 737-700 taxis at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California.
Photographs: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Southwest Airlines

Capacity per week: 3,486,483,553

Global rank: 6

Southwest Airlines is an American low-cost airline based in Dallas, Texas. The airline was established in 1967, adopting its current name in 1971, and as of June 5, 2011 is the largest airline in the United States based upon domestic passengers carried.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: Air France planes are seen on the snow covered tarmac at the Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Roissy, near Paris.
Photographs: Julien Muguet/Reuters

Air France

Capacity per week: 3,027,323,742

Global rank: 7

Air France is the French flag carrier headquartered in Tremblay-en-France, (north of Paris), and is one of the world's largest airlines.

It is a subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group and a founding member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: A British Airways Boeing 747 lands at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Washington.
Photographs: Robert Sorbo/Reuters

British Airways

Capacity per week: 3,023,334,201

Global rank: 8

British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport.

British Airways is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations and second largest measured by passengers carried, behind easyJet.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: Ryanair aircraft at Edinburgh Airport in Scotland.
Photographs: David Moir/Reuters

Ryanair

Capacity per week: 2,533,834,313

Global rank: 9

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

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: A US Airways Express regional jet departs Terminal A of Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.
Photographs: Jeff Zelevansky/Reuters

US Airways

Capacity per week: 2,513,984,006

Global rank: 10

US Airways is a major airline based in the US city of Tempe, Arizona. The airline is an operating unit of US Airways Group and is the sixth-largest airline by traffic and eighth largest by market value in the country.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: A Cathay Pacific Airways Boeing 747 passenger plane taxis past a column of the airlines
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

Cathay Pacific Airways

Capacity per week: 2,299,155,495

Global rank: 11

Cathay Pacific is the flag carrier of Hong Kong, with its head office and main hub located at Hong Kong International Airport, although the airline's registered office is on the 33rd floor of One Pacific Place.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: Airbus A380 of China Southern Airlines takes off from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, near Toulouse, France.
Photographs: Jean-Philippe Arles/Reuters

China Southern Airlines

Capacity per week: 2,202,096,153

Global rank: 12

China Southern Airlines is an airline headquartered in Baiyun District, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, People's Republic of China.

It is the world's sixth-largest airline measured by passengers carried, and Asia's largest airline in terms of both fleet size and passengers carried.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: People watch an Airbus A380 jet of Singapore Airlines taking off from the airport in Zurich.
Photographs: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

Singapore Airlines

Capacity per week: 2,134,408,171

Global rank: 13

Singapore Airlines Limited 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.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: Air China planes pass each other on tarmac and runway at Beijing International Airport.
Photographs: David Gray/Reuters

Air China

Capacity per week: 2,012,211,145

Global rank: 14

Air China is the flag carrier and one of the major airlines of the People's Republic of China, with its headquarters in Shunyi District, Beijing.

The airline's flight operations are based from out of Beijing Capital International Airport and is the world's 10th largest airline by fleet size.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: Passengers walk past Air Canada planes on the runway at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.
Photographs: Mike Cassese/Reuters

Air Canada

Capacity per week: 1,952,670,127

Global rank: 15

Air Canada is the flag carrier and largest airline of Canada. The airline, founded in 1936, provides scheduled and charter air transport for passengers and cargo to 178 destinations worldwide.

It is the world's 10th largest passenger airline by number of destinations, and the airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, an alliance of 26 member airlines formed in 1997.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: Qantas planes at Perth international airport.
Photographs: Daniel Munoz/Reuters

Qantas Airways

Capacity per week: 1,874,870,877

Global rank: 16

Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia. The name was originally "Qantas", an acronym for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services".

Nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo", the airline is based in Sydney, with its main hub at Sydney Airport.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: A KLM plane at London's Heathrow Airport.
Photographs: Ferran Paredes/Reuters

KLM

Capacity per week: 1,834,682,886

Global rank: 17

KLM is the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands and is part of Air France-KLM. KLM's headquarters is in Amstelveen near its hub at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: China Eastern plane waits for clearance at Shanghai airport.
Photographs: Claro Cortes/Reuters

China Eastern Airlines

Capacity per week: 1,755,463,531

Global rank: 18

China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited is an airline headquartered on the grounds of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in Changning District, Shanghai, China.

It is a major Chinese airline operating international, domestic and regional routes. Its main hubs are at Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: A Korean Air plane takes off at Kimpo International Airport in Seoul.
Photographs: Yun Suk Bong/Reuters

Korean Air Lines

Capacity per week: 1,741,330,714

Global rank: 19

Korean Air Lines is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea, with global headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea.

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Biggest airlines in the world

Image: A Turkish plane at Frankfurt's Rhein-Main airport.
Photographs: Stringer/Reuters

Turkish Airlines

Capacity per week: 1,576,538,097

Global rank: 20

Turkish Airlines is the national flag carrier airline of Turkey, headquartered in the Turkish Airlines General Management Building on the grounds of Ataturk Airport in Yesilkoy, Bakirkoy district, Istanbul.