With today’s blog post, we take a look at the Asian airline market. First, we went through the latest fleet figures and compiled the top 10 biggest Asian airlines’ fleet sizes.
Top 10 Biggest Asian Airlines
There are many metrics to define the world’s biggest airlines. With some of our latest rankings, we’ve analyzed the world’s airlines according to their safety performance, product quality, or capacity. Today, we take a look at the fleet size. However, we move away from global statistics and take an Asian deep-dive. Moreover, and contrary to many other rankings, we incorporated Corona-related reductions. Therefore, our ranking contains the most up-to-date fleet figures.
Top 10 Biggest Asian Airlines — Key Take Aways
If you don’t have time to go through the complete ranking, we put together some key takeaways about the 10 biggest Asian airlines.
6 out of 10 biggest Asian airlines are from China
Unsurprisingly, and in line with previous reports, it turned out the Chinese airlines play a big role in Asia’s biggest airlines. Overall, six out of the ten biggest airlines are based in China. Moreover, with China Southern, China Eastern, and Air China, the top three biggest Asian carriers are based in China.
India adds only one airline to the list of Asia’s biggest airlines
Despite being the world’s second-largest country population-wise, India adds only one airline to the biggest Asian airlines. IndiGo, an Indian low-cost carrier, ranks 4th.
Many countries are not represented.
When compiling the data, we expected to see a more diverse picture in terms of countries. Nevertheless, it turned out that airlines from four different countries (only) form Asia’s top 10 biggest airlines: China, India, Japan, and South Korea. Airlines from countries like the Philippines, Malaysia, or Thailand didn’t make it into the top 10.
Top 10 Biggest Asian Airlines
#10 — Korean Air
Korean Air is the largest airline and flag carrier of South Korea. The airline operates out of its hubs in Incheon and Gimpo and flies to more than 120 destinations worldwide. Korean Air is part of the Oneworld airline alliance and commenced operations in 1962. The airline operates a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing.
#9 — Japan Airlines
Japan Airlines is one of Japan’s biggest airlines and the country’s flag carrier. The airline is headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo, and operates out of its main hubs in Tokyo (Narita International Airport and Haneda Airport), Osaka’s Kansai International Airport, and Itami Airport. As part of the Oneworld airline alliance, Japan Airlines flies to almost 100 destinations — mainly across Asia, North America, and Europe. The most significant part of JAL’s fleet is compiled out of Boeing airbus, enriched with some additional Airbus aircraft.
#8 — Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific is Hong Kong’s flag carrier with its head office and hub based in Hong Kong. Cathay operates a fleet of more than 150 aircraft consisting of Airbus A320, A321, A330, A350, and Boeing B777. As one of Asia’s largest airlines, Cathay Pacific flies to 82 destinations across the globe.
#7 — Shenzhen Airlines
Shenzhen is a China-based airline headquartered in Shenzhen. As part of the Star Alliance, Shenzhen Airlines is one of two Chinese airlines that is part of a global network. The carrier was founded in 1992 and operated out of its hub in Shenzhen. The carrier operates 137 domestic airport pairs involving 58 Chinese airports, plus nine international routes. Shenzhen Airlines operates a mixed aircraft fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircraft.
#6 — Hainan Airlines
Hainan Airlines was founded in 1989 and is one of China’s largest airlines. With an aircraft fleet of 220 planes, the airline operates from its hubs in Beijing, Haikou, Xi’an, and Shenzhen. Hainan Airlines has its headquarters in Haikou and operates flights to 110 destinations in Asia, Europe, and North America.
Top 10 Biggest Asian Airlines: Position 5 – 1
#5 — All Nippon Airways
All Nippon Airways (also known as ANA) is Japan’s largest airline by revenues, passenger numbers, and fleet size. The airline was founded in 1952 and is headquartered in Tokyo. As part of the Star Alliance, the Japanese airline flies to 97 destinations — mainly in Asia, North America, and Europe. ANA operates a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
#4 — IndiGo
IndiGo is an Indian low-cost airline headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana, India. It is the largest airline in India by passengers carried and fleet size, with a 59.24% domestic market share as of August 2020. It is also the largest individual Asian low-cost carrier in terms of jet fleet size and passengers carried. The sixth-largest carrier in Asia with over 64 million passengers carried in the financial year 2018–19. The airline operates 1,500 flights every day to 87 destinations – 63 domestic and 24 international.
#3 — Air China
Air China is considered as one of the “Big Three” Chinese airlines. The airline operates a fleet of 450 aircraft and transported more than 100 million passengers in pre-COVID time. Air China flies to more than 200 destinations out of its hubs in Beijing and Chengdu and has 50,000 employees.
#2 — China Eastern Airlines
China Eastern is another airline of China’s “Big Three.” The airline has its headquarters in Changning and operates flights from its hubs in Shanghai, Beijing, Kunming, and Xi’an. The mega carrier has a fleet of 580 aircraft and flies to almost 250 destinations. China Eastern is a SkyTeam member and has 80,000 employees.
#1 — China Southern Airlines
Besides Air China and China Eastern, China Southern is the third of China’s “Big Three” airlines. China Southern has its headquarters in Guangzhou and operates out of its hubs in Beijing and Guangzhou. The airline has more than 620 aircraft and flies to more than 200 destinations. Almost 100,000 employees are responsible for 2,000 daily flights to destinations all over the world.
Biggest Asian Airlines — What’s Your Opinion?
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