Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Airlines Continue Financial Downtrend — Market Report August 2021

Airlines around the world have continued their downtrend in July. The world's 50 largest airlines by market cap lost more than 14 Billion USD in market capitalization. Here are the details and the complete airline financial report.

With the 4th edition of the airlines market report, we have to publish the third consecutive decrease in market caps. After having lost 36 Billion USD in May and 12 Billion USD in June, the market capitalization of the world’s largest airlines further shrunk by 14 Billion USD.

Here’s an overview of what’s contained in the report

Key Takeaways

If you don’t have time to read through the entire report, here are the most important key takeaways.

For the second month in a row, the 50 most valuable airlines lose 4% of their value.
The world’s largest airlines by market capitalization lost considerable value for the third month in a row. In July, market capitalization shrunk by more than 14 Billion USD — from 314 to 300 Billion USD. Since May, the world’s largest airlines have lost more than 60 Billion USD in market capitalization.

Bearish 3-month trend
Looking at the development during the last three months, not a single airline could substantially increase its market capitalization. Although some airlines gained value in one of the previous three months, the overall development was bearish or a sideways movement.

Only 5 Airlines Increased Their Value in July
Out of the world’s 50 largest airlines, only five could increase their market capitalization in July. Moreover, four airlines moved sideways in terms of value, and 41 airlines witnessed a decrease in market capitalization.

Top 3 Most Valuable Airlines

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines remains the world’s largest airline by market capitalization. However, Southwest’s value plumped from almost 35 Billion USD to 30 Billion USD during the last three months. In other words, the U.S. carrier lost more than 15% of its value within a 3-month timeframe.

Airline Information
Southwest is one the major airline of the United States and the world’s biggest low-cost carrier. The carrier operates an incredible fleet of 733 aircraft from several bases in the United States (e. g. Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, etc.). Almost 60,000 employees are responsible for 4,000 daily flights – mainly to the United States, Caribbean, and Central America.

Airline Market Report — Southwest airlines
Southwest Aircraft, Source: Wikipedia

Delta Air Lines

Delta remains in a stable second position with a market capitalization of 25.8 Billion US Dollars. Nonetheless, and similar to Southwest Airlines, Delta’s market capitalization has decreased by 14% since May 2021. Moreover, in July, Delta lost another 8% of its value.

Airline Information
Delta Air Lines, typically referred to as Delta, is another major U.S. carrier. With a fleet of 750 aircraft, Delta operates flights to 325 destinations. In addition, the airlines operate several hubs, such as Atlanta, Boston, or Detroit. Pre-COVID, the airline had 91,000 employees and handled 5,400 flights to 52 countries daily.

Airline Market Report — Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Source: Wikipedia


Similar to positions one and two, there’s no change in the third position. Once again, Europe’s biggest low-cost carrier claims the third most valuable airline’s title. Ryanair sits on a market capitalization of 23.3 Billion US Dollars. However, after a substantial value increase in May (+13%), Ryanair’s downward trend gains momentum too. After losing 2.3% in June, Ryanair’s value decreased by 6% in July.

Airlines Information
Ryanair is an Irish low-cost airline founded in 1984. Including their subsidiaries, Ryanair operates a fleet of more than 450 aircraft and forms Europe’s biggest low-cost airline. Ryanair has its headquarters in Dublin and runs aircraft bases all over Europe. Before Corona, Ryanair transported almost 150 million passengers.

Airline Market Report — Ryanair
By Alec Wilson from Khon Kaen, Thailand – SP-RSA, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Most Valuable Airlines — Position 1 – 10

When looking at the top 10 largest airlines by market cap, China Southern Airlines is the only carrier that increased its value in July: The value of China’s biggest airline grew by 8%. Subsequently, the airline surpassed American Airlines and IAG and ranked 6th. Even more critical: China Southern is one of the rare airlines with a neutral 3-month trend. On the other side, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and IAG have been the biggest losers in July.

RankAirlineMarket Cap ($bn)vs. July
1 (1)Southwest Airlines29.98-5%
2 (2)Delta Air Lines25.85-8%
3 (3)Ryanair23.37-6%
4 (4)United Airlines15.38-10%
5 (5)Air China14.20-5%
6 (8)China Southern Airlines13.90+8%
7 (6)American Airlines13.720%
8 (7)IAG11.98-7%
9 (9)All Nippon Airlines11.03-2%
10 (11)Singapore Airlines10.62-3%
Airline Market Cap — Rank 1 – 10

Most Valuable Airlines — Position 11 – 20

On positions 11 to 20, most of the airlines reported a decreased market capitalization. However, compared to the top 10 airlines, the decrease was lower. With 6%, Japan Airlines and Qantas saw the most considerable reduction in market capitalization. Lead by a decline of 5%, China Eastern Airlines no longer ranks among the top 10 airlines.

On the other side, Alaska Airlines was again able to grow its market capitalization. As a result, Alaska Airlines surpassed Spring Airlines. Moreover, Alaska Airlines is another airline with a neutral 3-month trend.

RankAirlineMarket Cap ($bn)vs. July
11 (10)China Eastern Airlines10.46-5%
12 (12)Japan Airlines9.01-6%
13 (13)InterGlobe8.93+1%
14 (15)Alaska Airlines7.83+4%
15 (14)Spring Airlines7.61-2%
16 (16)Lufthansa6.920%
17 (17)Air Canada6.68-3%
18 (18)Qantas6.32-6%
19 (20)Hainan Airlines5.610%
20 (21)Cathay Pacific5.38-1%
Airline Market Cap — Rank 11 – 20


Most Valuable Airlines — Position 21 – 30

Besides Volaris, all airlines on positions 21 to 30 reported a significant decrease in market capitalization. With EasyJet, Spirit Airlines, and Azul, three airlines witnessed a double-digit decline. As a result, easyJet exited the top 20 airlines by market capitalization and ranks 21st now. Volaris, on the other side, is one of the month’s big winners. The airline’s market capitalization grew by more than 13%. On top of that: Volaris is the only airline of the ranking with a positive 3-months trend!

RankAirlineMarket Cap ($bn)vs. July
21 (19)easyJet5.22-11%
22 (22)JetBlue4.91-9%
23 (23)China Airlines3.46-6%
24 (24)EVA Air3.42-6%
25 (25)Allegiant Air3.40-3%
26 (26)Spirit Airlines3.01-10%
27 (27)Copa2.99-6%
28 (28)Air France / KLM2.95-6%
29 (29)Azul2.64-13%
30 (31)Volaris2.56+13%
Airline Market Cap — Rank 21 – 30

Most Valuable Airlines — Position 31 – 40

On positions 31 to 40, some airlines faced a devastating month in terms of market capitalization. SkyWest, Brazil’s GOL, and Hawaiian Airlines reported double-digit decreases. Moreover, not a single airline was able to increase its market capitalization. However, with Asiana and Air Transport Services, two airlines have a neutral 3-month performance.

RankAirlineMarket Cap ($bn)vs. July
31 (30)Air New Zealand2.34-4%
32 (33)Turkish Airlines2.05-6%
33 (32)SkyWest1.98-10%
34 (34)Atlas Air1.90-4%
35 (36)Air Transport Services1.69-1%
36 (35)GOL1.61-12%
37 (39)Asiana1.120%
38 (38)Finnair1.09-4%
39 (37)Hawaiian Airlines1.00-19%
40 (40)Norwegian0.87-6%
Airline Market Cap — Rank 31 – 40

Most Valuable Airlines — Position 41 – 50

The picture on ranks 41 to 50 is similar to the previous parts of the ranking. Overall, most airlines witnessed a massive decrease in terms of market share. Again the market capitalization of the three airlines fell by more than 10%: Jeju Air, Bangkok Airways, and Icelandair.

RankAirlineMarket Cap ($bn)vs. July
41 (42)Jin Air0.77-7%
42 (43)AirAsia0.77-3%
43 (41)Jeju Air0.76-11%
44 (45)SpiceJet0.63+2%
45 (44)Bangkok Airways0.62-10%
46 (46)T’way Air0.36-8%
47 (47)Icelandair0.33-13%
48 (48)Mesa Air0.32-3%
49 (49)Air Busan0.24-4%
50 (50)Thai Airways0.21-5%
Airline Market Cap — Rank 41 – 50

What’s Your Opinion?

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

Data Source: Data shown was retrieved from — 28th July 2021.

Share this article
About the author
Author picture

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.

You might also like