Unfortunately, even 18 months after the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, the vast majority of airlines are still struggling to return to normal operations. However, we’ve analyzed more than 200 airlines and found ten lighthouse airlines that managed to operate more flights than pre-COVID.

These 10 Airlines Operate More Flights Than Pre-COVID

These 10 Airlines Operate More Flights Than Pre-COVID

Although COVID-19 still immensely impacts worldwide travel, we wanted to know the details. Moreover, we asked if airlines have already returned to “normal” and operate even more flights than pre-COVID. Therefore, we analyzed more than 250 airlines and checked their flight volume in June 2021. On top of that, we compared the number of flights to each airline’s flight volume back in June 2019.

As a result, only 10 out of 250 airlines operated more flights in June 2021 than in June 2019. So, let’s dive into the details and present the airlines that operate more flights than pre-COVID!

Pobeda Airlines

Airline Performance
Russia’s Pobeda kicks off the list with a bold performance. Compared to June 2019, Pobeda increased its flight volume more than any other airline in the world. With almost 8,000 flights, Pobeda operated 54% more flights compared to June 2019.

Airlines with more flights than pre-covid — Pobeda

Airline Information
Pobeda Airlines is a Russian low-cost airline that Aeroflot wholly owns. The airline was founded in 2014 and operated out of its hubs in Moscow Sheremetyevo and Moscow Vnukovo. At the time of writing, Pobeda operated 43 aircraft — all Boeing 737-800. Pobeda serves almost 70 destinations across Russia, Europe, and the Middle East. In 2019, the airline carried more than 10 million passengers.

Pobeda – By Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia – Pobeda, VQ-BTD, Boeing 737-8MA, CC BY-SA 2.0

Vivaaerobus

Airline Performance
Mexico’s Vivaaerobus is another top performer when it comes to operating more flights than pre-COVID. Compared to June 2019, Vivaaerobus increase its flight volume by almost 34%. The Mexican airline operates more than 8,300 flights in June 2021, increasing 1,100 flights compared to pre-COVID volume.

Airlines with more flights than pre-covid - Vivaaerobus

Airline Information
Founded in 2006, Vivaaerobús is a Mexican low-cost airline. The carrier is wholly owned by Mexico’s largest bus company, IAMSA. Vivaaeroús commenced operations on 30th November 2006 and operates out of bases in Cancún, Mexico City, and Monterrey. The airline flies to almost 60 destinations in the U.S., Central, and South America.

Vivaaerobus – By Tomás Del Coro from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA – XA-VAE Viva Aerobus Airbus A320-232 s/n 6602, CC BY-SA 2.0

Ural Airlines

Airline Performance
Russian airlines seem to benefit from a robust domestic market. Similar to Pobeda, Ural Airlines is another Russian carrier that massively increased its flight volume. Compared to June 2019, Ural Airlines boosted its volume by almost 23%. With nearly 6,800 monthly flights, the Russian carrier operated ~1,300 additional flights compared to a pre-COVID level.

Airlines with more flights than pre-covid - Ural Airlines

Airline Information
Ural Airline is an independent Russian airline based in Yekaterinburg. Initially, the airline was founded in 1943 as part of Aeroflot. However, the airline became a joint-stock company in 1993. Ural Airlines operates a fleet of 49 aircraft and serves more than 100 destinations. At the moment, the airline operates out of its hubs in Moscow Domodedovo, and Yekaterinburg.

Ural Airlines – By Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia – Ural Airlines, VP-BSW, Airbus A321-231, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Batik Air

Airline Performance
Indonesia’s Batik Air is the only airline from the Far East on this list. The Indonesian low-cost carrier increased its flight volume by 16% compared to pre-COVID. As a result, Batik Air operated ~1,400 additional flights in June 2021, resulting in 9,700 flights.

Airlines with more flights than pre-covid - Batik Air

Airline Information
Batik Air is an Indonesian scheduled airline that was founded in 2012 and is based in Jakarta. The Indonesian Lion Air Group wholly owns the airline. Batik Air operates flights to roughly 60 destinations in Asia. Batik’s fleet consists of Airbus and Boeing aircraft and totals 80 aircraft.

Batik Air – By Fire Law Stone

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Allegiant Air

Airline Performance
Allegiant Air is one of three U.S. airlines among airlines that operate more flights than pre-COVID. With 12,500 flights, Allegiant grew its flight volume by almost 1,500 compared to June 2019. Accordingly, the volume increase by 13%.

Airlines with more flights than pre-covid - Allegiant air

Airline Information
Allegiant Air is an American ultra-low-cost airline headquartered in Summerlin, Nevada. The airline was founded in 1997 as part of WestJet. Allegiant Air operates out of several bases across the United States and flies to more than 120 airports. At the time of writing, Allegiant operated a fleet of 114 aircraft – 35 Airbus A319-100 and 79 Airbus A320-200.

Allegiant Air – By Eddie Maloney from North Las Vegas, USA – ALLEGIANT AIR, CC BY-SA 2.0

Frontier Airlines

Airline Performance
Directly “behind” Allegiant Air, Frontier Airlines is the second U.S. carrier on the list. However, frontier Airlines managed to increase its flight volum by almost 11% when comparing June 2021 flights to June 2019. In total, the airline operated almost 13,500 flights – a plus of 1,300.

Airlines with more flights than pre-covid - Frontier Airlines

Airline Information
Similar to Allegiant Air, Frontier Airlines is another ultra low-cost airline from the United States. The airline was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Besides its hub in Denver, the airline maintains operating bases in Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia, Tampa, and Trenton. The airline flies to more than 100 destinations and operates a fleet of 110 aircraft.

Frontier Airlines- By Raymond Wambsgans

Volaris

Airline Performance
Volaris is the second airline from Mexico on the list. The Mexican low-cost carrier increased its flight volume in June 2021 by almost 10% compared to June 2019. In total, the airline operated 12,700 flights, resulting in 1,100 additional flights compared to June 2019.

Airlines with more flights than pre-covid - Volaris

Airline Information
Founded in 2004, Volaris is a relatively new Latin American airline. However, Volaris is Mexico’s biggest airline by fleet size. The carrier operates out of its hubs in Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Tijuana. At the moment, Volaris flies to almost 70 destinations — mainly in Mexico and the United States.

Volaris – By redlegsfan21 – Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Air Astana

Airline Performance
Kazakhstan’s flag-carrier Air Astana seems to benefits from solid demand for flights to/from Russia. The airline reported a plus of 4.7% in flight volume compared to June 2019. As a result, Air Astana operated 4,000 flights compared to 3,800 in 2019.

Airlines with more flights than pre-covid - Air Astana

Airline Information
Air Astana is the flag carrier of Kazakhstan and is based in Almaty. The airline was founded in 2001 and commenced operations in 2002. Air Astana operates a fleet of 24 aircraft containing Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer planes. The airline flies to more than 60 destinations in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Air Astana – By AviaKZ – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Cape Air

Airline Performance
Cape Air is the third U.S. carrier on the list. Although the difference between flights in 2019 and 2021 is small, the airline grew by 3.7%. In absolute numbers, Cape Air operated 342 flights, more than in 2019.

Airlines with more flights than pre-covid - Cape air

Airline Information
Cape Air is an airline headquartered at Barnstable Municipal Airport in Hyannis, Massachusetts, United States. It operates scheduled passenger services in the Northeast, the Caribbean, Midwest, and Eastern Montana. The airline was founded in 1989. Currently, Cape Air operates a fleet of 95 aircraft – mainly Cessna 402.

Cape Air – By redlegsfan21 from Vandalia, OH, United States – Cape Air, CC BY-SA 2.0

Xiamen Air

Airline Performance
Surprisingly, Xiamen Air is the only Chinese airline on the list. According to the latest traffic figures we expected to see more Chinese airlines. Moreover, Xiamen Air’s June traffic grew by (only) 1.9% compared to 2019.

Airlines with more flights than pre-covid - Xiamen air

Airline Information
Xiamen Air is a Chinese passenger airline founded in 1984 and based in Xiamen. The airline is part of the SkyTeam alliance and currently operates a fleet of more than 160 aircraft – 157 Boeing 737 and 12 Boeing 787. Xiamen mainly operates flights to Chinese destinations, Far East Asia, and Australia.

Xiamen Air – By N509FZ – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Used Data

The shown information is based on OAG data and internal data sources. Rankings only included airlines that operated more than 500 flights in the respective month. However, the global benchmark includes all tracked flights. On average, 200 airlines are included in each month’s analysis. Whenever stated, EMEA refers to airlines based in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa.

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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.

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