Market Capitalization is one of the essential financial benchmarks. According to their current market cap, we’ve analyzed hundreds of airlines — here are the results: World’s 50 largest airlines by market cap.

World's Largest Airlines By Market Cap

A Financial View At Airlines

Metrics to define the world’s largest airlines are sheer endless: fleet size, number of passengers, served countries, revenue passenger kilometers, and many others. We wanted to add a financial dimension and analyzed hundreds of publicly listed airline companies. As a result, we’re thrilled to present the world’s 50 largest airlines by market cap. Here’s an overview of what’s contained in this blog:

What’s Market Cap and how we Measured?

Let’s have some quick explanations before we dive into the ranking’s details. The market capitalization (market cap) reflects the value of a publicly listed company. In most cases, the calculation is straightforward: The number of issued stocks multiplied with the current stock price. However, and worth mentioning: Since the calculation is based on the stock price, the market cap is highly dynamic. Accordingly, the shown list might change quickly — as stock prices do. Nevertheless, we will keep updating the list regularly.

Largest Airlines By Market Cap: 50 — 41

Let’s kick off the list of the world’s largest airlines by market cap with the ranks 50 to 41. And we have to say that these ranks are pretty much dominated by Asian airlines. With Air Busan, T’way, and Jeju Air, we have three airlines from South Korea. On top of that, we find Thai Airways, Nok Air, Bangkok Airways, AirAsia, and SpiceJet as further airlines from Asia.

Overall, 8 out of 10 airlines are from Asia. Moreover, it is interesting to see some well-known carriers, such as AirAsia and Thai Airways, with relatively low market capitalization. That’s definitely still an impact of COVID-19 and might change in the next months.

PositionAirlineCountryMarket Cap ($B)
50Thai AirwaysThailand0.23
49Air BusanSouth Korea0.26
48Nok AirThailand0.32
47Mesa AirUnited States0.34
46IcelandairIceland0.35
45T’way AirSouth Korea0.47
44Bangkok AirwaysThailand0.55
43SpiceJetIndia0.65
42AirAsiaMalaysia0.84
41Jeju AirSouth Korea0.96
Largest Airlines By Market Cap: 50 — 41
World's largest airline by market cap: Jeju Air
Jeju Air is one of three South Korean Airlines on ranks 50 – 41 — By N509FZ

Largest Airlines By Market Cap: 40 — 31

The list of the largest airlines by market cap continues with another two airlines from South Korea. However, we find a more diverse picture, compared to positions 50-41, with airlines from North and Central America and Europe.

Again, it is surprising to see two of the world’s biggest airlines (Turkish Airlines and Air France/KLM) with such a low market capitalization, especially when considering the fleet size. Jin Air ranked 40th operates a fleet of 28 aircraft and has a value of $0.96 Billion. Air France / KLM, on the other side, operates a combined fleet of 330 aircraft (10x Jin Air), but its market cap is only 1.5 compared to Jin Air. However, this might rapidly change once the airline industry rebounds from COVID’s impact.

PositionAirlineCountryMarket Cap ($B)
40Jin AirSouth Korea0.96
39Asiana AirlinesSouth Korea1.14
38FinnairFinland1.23
37Hawaiian AirlinesUnited States1.54
36Air Transport ServicesUnited States1.82
35VolarisMexcio1.98
34GOL AirlinesBrazil2.08
33Atlas AirUnited States2.14
32Turkish AirlinesTurkey2.33
31Air France / KLMFrance2.44
Largest Airlines By Market Cap: 40 — 31
World's largest airline by market cap
Despite a fleet size of 330 aircraft, Air France / KLM has a market cap of only $2.4B — By Steven He

Largest Airlines By Market Cap: 30 — 21

When looking at position 30 to 21, the market cap quickly climbs from $2.45 Billion to $6 Billion. At that time, we have a mixed picture of airlines from Asia and America.

PositionAirlineCountryMarket Cap ($B)
30SkyWestUnited States2.45
29Air New ZealandNew Zealand2.59
28AzulBrazil3.29
27CopaPanama3.29
26EVA AirTaiwan3.61
25China AirlinesTaiwan3.67
24Spirit AirlinesUnited States3.80
23Allegiant AirUnited States3.88
22Cathay PacificChina5.75
21Jetblue AirwaysUnited States6.00
Largest Airlines By Market Cap: 30 — 21
A white plane with the word "jetBlue" painted in the front and a blue tailfin on the back prepares to land as its landing gear is deployed
JetBlue — By Alan Wilson from Stilton, Peterborough, Cambs, UK

Largest Airlines By Market Cap: 20 — 11

On positions 20 two 11, the market cap almost doubles from EasyJet’s $6.44 Billion to China Eastern’s $11.5 Billion. Concerning its fleet size, Spring Airlines is definitely a surprise. The Chinese carrier operates a fleet of 100 aircraft but has a higher market capitalization than flag carriers such as Lufthansa or Air Canada.

On the other side, we also expected China Easter Airlines to rank higher. The airline ranks among the top five in many categories, such as passengers or fleet size. Therefore, it’s surprising that the airline didn’t make it to the top 10.

PositionAirlineCountryMarket Cap ($B)
20easyJetUnited Kingdom6.44
19QantasAustralia7.02
18LufthansaGermany7.92
17Air CanadaCanada7.98
16Alaska AirlinesUnited States8.21
15Spring AirlinesChina8.91
14InterGlobeIndia9.46
13Japan AirlinesJapan10.88
12Singapore AirlinesSingapore11.38
11China Eastern AirlinesChina11.49
Largest Airlines By Market Cap: 20 — 11
Largest Airline by market cap: Spring Airlines
Despite a smaller fleet size, Spring Air is more valuable than Lufthansa or Air Canada — By aeroprints.com

Largest Airlines By Market Cap: 10 — 1

When looking at the top 10, we can see a rapid increase in terms of market cap. Moreover, the list of the top 10 largest airlines by market size is mainly dominated by airlines from China and the United States — which isn’t surprising according to COVID’s impact on airlines.

For us, it was super-surprising to see Hainan Airlines at the top of the list. The Chinese carrier operates a fleet of “only” 220 aircraft. If we again compare that to Air France / KLM, whose fleet is some 100 aircraft bigger, Hainan’s market cap is more than 15x.

PositionAirlineCountryMarket Cap
10ANAJapan12.47
9China Southern AirlinesChina13.80
8IAGUnited Kingdom13.89
7American AirlinesUnited States15.36
6Air ChinaChina16.78
5United AirlinesUnited States18.59
4RyanairIreland22.59
3Delta Air LinesUnited States29.92
2Southwest AirlinesUnited States34.55
1Hainan AirlinesChina34.83
Largest Airlines By Market Cap: 10 — 11
World's largest airline by market cap: Hainan Airlines
Hainan Airlines — World’s Largest Airline By Market Cap — By byeangel from Tsingtao, China

What’s Your Opinion?

We’re always happy to get your feedback. Leave us a comment below or get in touch with the author on one of the social media channels.

Data Source: Data shown was retrieved from Companiesmarketcap.com — 9th June 2021.

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Benjamin is a content-maniac, music-lover, aviation-enthusiast, and CEO of Information Design (in this order). His daily business revolves around pioneering solutions to change the way airlines, airports, and aviators use information. His visions are based on expertise gained in more than 15 years in the industry and working with renowned airlines + airports worldwide.