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The most Comprehensive Airline Benchmark

Discover the most comprehensive airline benchmark, including 15 of the world's leading airlines. We put together figures and information from all areas such as fleet, network, operations, safety, and financials to provide you with an easy-to-access benchmark.

Airline Benchmark — Airline Overview

To understand an airline’s performance, it is required to put context to its data and figures. That’s why we put together the most comprehensive airline benchmark ever. We selected 15 leading airlines and gathered data from all relevant areas.

Benchmarked Airlines

Before we dive into the details, here’s an overview of the contained airlines:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air France
  • American Airlines
  • Azul
  • British Airways
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • China Souther Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Emirates
  • KLM
  • Lufthansa
  • Qatar
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines

Benchmarked Areas

For each of the airlines, we put together benchmarks of the following areas:

Network BenchmarkServed Destinations, Countries, Continents
Operations BenchmarkOn-time performance, number of passengers
Fleet BenchmarkNumber of aircraft (Overall & clustered)
Social Media BenchmarkTwitter Follower, Instagram Follower, Facebook Pag Likes
Safety & Quality BenchmarkSkytrax Ranking, Eco Score, Safety Index
Corporate BenchmarkEmployees, Revenue, Net Income
The most Comprehensive Airline Benchmark — Overview

Benchmarked Airlines — Base Information

Here is some base information about each benchmarked airline.

AeromexicoMexicoCentral America1934
Air FranceFranceEurope1933
American AirlinesUnited StatesNorth America1926
AzulBrazilSouth America2008
British AirwaysUnited KingdomEurope1974
China Eastern AirlinesChinaAsia1988
China Southern AirlinesChinaAsia1988
Delta Air LinesUnited StatesNorth America1929
EmiratesUnited Arab EmiratesMiddle East1985
LATAMChileSouth America2012
Qatar AirwaysQatarMiddle East1993
Turkish AirlinesTurkeyEurope1933
United AirlinesUnited StatesNorth America1926
The most Comprehensive Airline Benchmark — Airline Overview

Network Benchmark

The network benchmark provides details about the number of destinations, countries, and continents an airline serves. The shown data is mainly based on 2020 information. Here are the core results:

  • With 350 airports, American Airlines is the airline that serves the most destinations.
  • Turkish Airline is the airline that serves the most countries (123).
Air France211935
American Airlines350555
British Airways183755
China Eastern Airlines248344
China Southern Airlines216475
Delta Air Lines325525
Qatar Airways173905
Turkish Airlines3151234
United Airlines342745
The most Comprehensive Airline Benchmark — Network

Operations Benchmark

In terms of an operations benchmark, we included punctuality and passenger figures. Punctuality figures are based on OAG and reflect 2018 values. Concerning passenger figures, we used several sources. Unfortunately, it was not possible to retrieve passenger figures for the identical year for each airline. Here are the key takeaways:

  • LATAM is the most punctual airline, followed by KLM and Delta Air Lines.
  • With 215 resp. 192 million passengers, American and Delta Air Lines, carry the most passengers.
AirlinePunctuality (2018)Passenger (mil.)
Aeromexico78.95%19.7 (2016)
Air France79.92%46.8 (2019)
American Airlines77.9%215.18 (2019)
Azul80.4%26.0 (2019)
British Airways76.18%45.2 (2017)
China Eastern Airlines72.86%71.9 (2019)
China Southern Airlines71.52%126.2 (2017)
Delta Air Lines83.56%192.2 (2018)
Emirates79.47%58.6 (2019)
KLM84.52%35.1 (2019)
LATAM86.41%74.2 (2019)
Lufthansa73.96%145.3 (2019)
Qatar Airways80.32%32.4 (2019)
Turkish Airlines76.72%75.1 (2018)
United Airlines76.28%162 (2019)
The most Comprehensive Airline Benchmark — Operations

Fleet Benchmark

We wanted to know the overall fleet size and the aircraft types operated with the airline fleet benchmark. So here are the essential results:

  • Most of the top airlines solely rely on Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
  • The U.S. carriers (United, Delta, and American) operate the largest fleets.
  • With 888 aircraft, American Airlines operates the world’s biggest aircraft fleet.
Air France13777214
American Airlines431457888
British Airways16491255
China Eastern Airlines409175584
China Southern Airlines3522713626
Delta Air Lines345434779
Qatar Airways214120234
Turkish Airlines183182365
United Airlines191633824
The most Comprehensive Airline Benchmark — Fleet


Social Media Benchmark

Social media is becoming increasingly important for airlines around the globe. Therefore, we also included essential social media figures: In terms of Instagram and Twitter, we analyzed the number of followers, whereas, in terms of Facebook, we gathered the number of page likes. Here are the key takeaways:

  • With 2.3 million, KLM is the king of Twitter.
  • Some of the airlines don’t focus on Twitter (e. g. China Southern Airlines or LATAM).
  • Emirates and Qatar show exceptional results on Instagram with 5.5 resp. 3.4 million followers.
  • Qatar is also the king of Facebook, with almost 22.5 million page likes.
AirlineTwitter FollowerInstagram FollowerFacebook Page Likes
Air France378,0001,098,0007,300,000
American Airlines1,650,0001,097,0002,580,000
British Airways1,300,0001,044,0003,270,000
China Eastern Airlines115,00019,0004,370,000
China Southern Airlines44,500235,00010,220,000
Delta Air Lines1,500,0001,079,0003,280,000
Qatar Airways1,680,0003,400,00022,400,000
Turkish Airlines1,850,0001,800,00010,700,000
United Airlines1,000,000800,0001,410,000
The most Comprehensive Airline Benchmark — Social Media

Safety & Quality Benchmark

To provide the most comprehensive airline benchmark, we also included safety and quality aspects. Therefore, we included the airlines’ Skytrax rank as one of the essential product quality indicators. Moreover, the eco score provides insights into the airline’s sustainability level. Finally, the safety index is based on JACDEC’s safety assessment and details an airline’s safety level. Again, here are the key takeaways:

  • In terms of product quality, Qatar ranks 1st on Skytrax and accordingly 1st among the benchmarked airlines.
  • Besides LATAM, airlines show a relatively week eco score.
  • With 95.48%, Emirates is ranked the safest airline.
AirlineSkytrax RankEco Score (out of 100)Safety Index
Air France#2354.584.32%
American Airlines#7458.784.48%
British Airways#1954.487.30%
China Eastern Airlines#7564.084.39%
China Southern Airlines#1460.386.40%
Delta Air Lines#4161.889.04%
Qatar Airways#146.489.12%
Turkish Airlines#2756.273.04%
United Airlines#6860.486.64%
The most Comprehensive Airline Benchmark — Quality & Safety

Corporate Benchmark

As the final part of the airline benchmark, we looked at corporate figures, such as the number of employees, revenue, and net income. Here are the key takeaways:

  • American Airlines and the Lufthansa Group are the biggest airlines in terms of employees.
  • Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines, and Lufthansa are the biggest airlines in revenue.
  • United Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and British Airways show the strongest financial results regarding net income.
AirlineEmployeesRevenue ($ mil. 2019)Net Income ($ mil. 2019)
Air France84,00019,44321
American Airlines133,00045,7681,686
British Airways42,00018,2322,740
China Eastern Airlines75,000983**
China Southern Airlines100,00021,701*1,140*
Delta Air Lines91,00047,0074,767
Qatar Airways50,00014,04-1,930
Turkish Airlines37,00012,8552,719
United Airlines95,00043,2593,009
The most Comprehensive Airline Benchmark — Corporate Benchmark (*2018 figures, **2017 figures)

The most Comprehensive Airline Benchmark — Do you miss an Airline or Information?

Do you think we’ve missed an airline or important information? Leave us a comment below, and we’ll include it with the next update of the list.

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Benjamin Walther

CEO, Frankfurt

Benjamin is Information Design's CEO and a proven content-maniac. Besides running a successful business and developing pioneering ideas, he's dedicated to writing blog posts and creating content.

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